Designing Mobile Service Robots: Roles of the Visual Interface and Manipulators for Human Perception
Authors: Yong-Gyun Ghim
Abstract: The increasing use of mobile service robots in public spaces has led to more frequent encounters and interactions between humans and robots. However, our understanding of how people would perceive and react to these autonomously moving robots in real-world situations is still limited. Previous research suggests an optimal degree of human-likeness for anthropomorphic robots, but it remains unclear what level of anthropomorphism makes a robot most acceptable in a specific use context and how designers can achieve it. This study investigates the effect of a mobile service robot’s visual interface and manipulators on its morphology, human-likeness, and human perception. A conceptual framework is developed from literature to define the design elements that comprise robot morphology and their effects on human-likeness and human perception. The framework is then tested through an online survey using four design variations of a mobile service robot. The study finds that a robot’s visual interface and manipulators increase its human-likeness and enhance understanding of its intended function. However, no clear correlation is found between human-likeness and perceived capabilities in this study’s use context.
Keywords: mobile service robot, robot morphology, industrial design, human, robot interaction
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