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International Journal of Social Robotics

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 203–225 | Cite as

User-Centered Design and Evaluation of a Mobile Shopping Robot

  • Nicola Doering
  • Sandra Poeschl
  • Horst-Michael Gross
  • Andreas Bley
  • Christian Martin
  • Hans-Joachim Boehme
Article

Abstract

This paper describes the user-centered design and evaluation process of a humanoid mobile shopping robot named TOOMAS that assists customers of home improvement stores. Three separate empirical field studies addressing the robot’s usability (according to ISO 9241-11) and acceptability (intention to use) are presented involving \(N=343\) test persons altogether. The first formative evaluation study (\(N\!=\!210\)) addresses the usability of the robot’s article search system. It is demonstrated how several usability problems could be identified and eliminated, leading to significantly more successful article searches. The second formative evaluation study (\(N\!=\!39\)) addresses the robot’s adaptation to its specific task and role in the home improvement store. Embodiment, mobility, voice output, and social behavior were analyzed and adapted to user requirements. The third summative evaluation study (\(N=94\)) experimentally tested robot-assisted shopping against conventional shopping regarding core usability criteria (effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction). It reveals that robot-assisted shopping was as effective and satisfactory as conventional shopping. Still, at the current state of technology shopping with robot assistance was slightly slower and therefore less efficient. For all three studies the effects of users’ gender, age, educational background and computer skills levels on robot usability and acceptability are presented and discussed.

Keywords

Service robots Shopping assistants  User-centered design Usability Acceptability 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Yvonne Ludewig, Gesine Märten, Carina Meixner, Frauke Posselt, Susann Räcke, Jenny Reichenbacher, Uwe Sonderhoff, Julia Wolf, and Cornelia Zinner for their help in organizing and conducting the studies. The authors thank toom Baumarkt GmbH for their support with conducting the field trials and their institutional support with the SERROKON project.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicola Doering
    • 1
  • Sandra Poeschl
    • 1
  • Horst-Michael Gross
    • 2
  • Andreas Bley
    • 3
  • Christian Martin
    • 3
  • Hans-Joachim Boehme
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Media and Communication Science, Media Psychology and Media Design GroupTechnische Universität IlmenauIlmenauGermany
  2. 2.Neuroinformatics and Cognitive Robotics Lab, Department of Computer Science and AutomationTechnische Universität IlmenauIlmenauGermany
  3. 3.MetraLabs Neue Technologien und Systeme GmbHIlmenauGermany
  4. 4.Faculty of Information Technology/MathematicsUniversity of Applied Sciences DresdenDresdenGermany

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