Industrial Design Guidelines for Robot Acceptance: The Role of Morphological Elements of Mobile Service Robots in a Restaurant Environment
Authors: Domagoj Bui, Yong-Gyun Ghim
Abstract: With the advancement of technology, robots are increasingly being utilized in the service industry. While researchers have argued that human-like robots are more acceptable in a service context, they can also cause more discomfort than robots with a functional appearance. Although it has been studied that a robot’s appearance affects how people perceive its capabilities, there is a lack of detailed explanations on which design elements influence human perception and acceptance of robots, and how. This study hypothesizes that robots with a functional appearance can be more accepted by introducing certain lifelike features from anthropomorphic robots. This study aims to identify the design elements and their relationships to perceived attributes of mobile service robots in service environments. After examining the relationship between robot morphology and human perception, three robot attributes are defined: perceived characteristics, capabilities, and warmth. Three design elements of form, color, and interface are then extracted from prior studies that form the perceived attributes. A case study of two robots was conducted, one with a lifelike appearance and the other with a functional one. Finally, design guidelines are proposed based on these design elements to assist industrial designers in creating more acceptable designs for mobile service robots.
Keywords: mobile service robots, robot acceptance, robot morphology, case study
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