In this talk I spell out the rationale for developing means of manipulating and of measuring people’s sense of commitment to robot interaction partners. A sense of commitment may lead people to be patient when a robot is not working smoothly, to remain vigilant when a robot is working so smoothly that a task becomes boring and to increase their willingness to invest effort in teaching a robot. Against this background I will present a theoretical framework for research on the sense of commitment in joint action, as well as a set of studies that have been conducted to probe various means of boosting people’s sense of commitment in human-human interaction and in joint actions with robot partners. I conclude by discussing the implications of this research for recent philosophical debates about the nature of joint action, and about the role of commitment in joint action.