Ph.D. Candidate
University of British Columbia, 2012, M.A.Sc.
University of Waterloo, 2009, B.A.Sc., Mechatronics Engineering (Minor in Philosophy)

AJung Moon is a Vanier Scholar studying human-robot interaction and roboethics under the supervision of Drs. Elizabeth Croft and Mike Van der Loos. AJung received her Masters of Applied Science from UBC in 2012, specializing in the design and implementation of robot nonverbal gestures (hesitations) that can be used during human-robot resource conflict situations.

Her current research focus is on studying the intersection of human-robot interaction (HRI) and roboethics. In HRI, she specializes in designing nonverbal communication cues (hand gestures, gaze cues) for robots for human-robot collaboration contexts (more on her research projects). Her PhD thesis is on developing ways for humans and robots to ‘negotiate’ using nonverbal gestures to quickly resolve resource conflicts.

In roboethics, she co-founded the Open Roboethics initiative, a roboethics think tank. She explores ways in which various stakeholders of robotics technologies can work together to influence interactive robot designs.

For more about AJung’s involvement in robotics, please visit

Research Description

Ph.D.: Human-Robot Negotiation: Using Communication to Resolve Human-Robot Conflicts

People share spaces and objects with each other every day. When conflicts regarding access to these shared resources occur, people communicate with each other to negotiate a solution. But what should a robot do when such conflicts occur between a human and a robotic assistant? Answers to this question depend on the context of the situation. In order for robots to be successfully deployed in homes and workplaces, it is important for robots to be equipped with the ability to make socially and morally acceptable decisions about the conflict at hand. However, robots today are not very good at making such decisions. The objective of my research is to investigate an interactive paradigm of human-robot conflict resolution that does not involve complicated, artificial moral decision making. I am currently working on a robotic system that can communicatively negotiate about resource conflicts with its human partner using nonverbal gestures.

M.A.Sc.: Non-Verbal Gesture and Communication in Physical Human-Robot Interaction

Studies suggest that people feel more positively toward robots that work with people rather than those that replace them. This means that in order to create robots that can collaborate and share tasks with humans, human-human interaction dynamics must be understood – key components of which could be replicated in human-robot interaction.

My master’s research project focused on how simple a non-verbal gesture (like that of jerky hesitant motion of your hand when you and another person reach for the same last piece of chocolate at the same time) can superimposed on the functional reaching motions of a robot, so that robots can express its uncertainty to human users. This research project led to the development of a characteristic motion profile, called the Acceleration-based Hesitation Profile (AHP) a robotic manipulator can use to generate humanlike hesitation motions as a response to resource conflicts (e.g., reaching for the same thing at the same time).

Take a look at how the designed hesitations look in contrast to abrupt collision avoidance responses.
Designed hesitation responses (AHP):

Abrupt stopping responses:





Contact Details

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, UBC,
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Tel: 604.822.3147
Fax: 604.822.2403
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