, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 53-67
Date: 01 Oct 2010

Evaluating Human-Robot Interaction

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The experience of interacting with a robot has been shown to be very different in comparison to people’s interaction experience with other technologies and artifacts, and often has a strong social or emotional component—a difference that poses potential challenges related to the design and evaluation of HRI. In this paper we explore this difference, and its implications on evaluating HRI. We outline how this difference is due in part to the general complexity of robots’ overall context of interaction, related to their dynamic presence in the real world and their tendency to invoke a sense of agency.

We suggest that due to these differences HCI evaluation methods should be applied to HRI with care, and we present a survey of select HCI evaluation techniques from the perspective of the unique challenges of robots. We propose a view on social interaction with robots that we call the holistic interaction experience, and introduce a set of three perspectives for exploring social interaction with robots: visceral factors of interaction, social mechanics, and social structures. We demonstrate how our three perspectives can be used in practice, both as guidelines to discuss and categorize robot interaction, and as a component in the evaluation process. Further, we propose an original heuristic for brainstorming various possibilities of interaction experiences based on a concept we call the interaction experience map.