Glad you enjoyed the game and thanks for the feedback, did you notice the exclamation point above the "friend" and what did it represent for you?
Maybe I've just got Metal Gear Solid too ingrained in me, but I saw the exclamation mark as a warning, not an invitation. Everything else that moved that I touched killed me, and they did just eat one of the other robots, so I was wary of touching anything else. I'd see if this is common before making any changes, but I think having them approach you in a scripted sequence might have worked better for me. I'm thinking when you walk on the tile directly south of them, they approach you, and automatically start following you around. As long as you lock player movement so they can't kill themselves while it's happening, I think I'd see that as an unambiguous sign of friendliness.