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One robot doesn’t fit all: aligning social robot appearance and job suitability from a Middle Eastern perspective

  • Jakub ZłotowskiEmail author
  • Ashraf Khalil
  • Salam Abdallah
Student Forum


Social robots are expected to take over a significant number of jobs in the coming decades. The present research provides the first systematic evaluation of occupation suitability of existing social robots based on user perception derived classification of them. The study was conducted in the Middle East since the views of this region are rarely considered in human–robot interaction research, although the region is poised to increasingly adopt the use of robots. Laboratory-based experimental data revealed that a robot’s appearance plays an important role in the perception of its capabilities and preference for it to perform a particular job. Participants showed a preference for machine-like robots to perform dull and dirty occupations and humanoids, but not androids, to perform jobs requiring extensive social interaction with humans. However, other aspects of appearance than morphology determine whether a robot is preferred for a job irrespective of its perceived capability to do it.


Social robotics Human–robot interaction Jobs Appearance Middle East 



The authors would like to thank Mohammad Gharib and Tasbeeh Raza for their invaluable help with participant recruitment.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Abu Dhabi UniversityAbu DhabiUAE
  2. 2.CITEC, Bielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany
  3. 3.Queensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

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