International Journal of Social Robotics

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 211–221 | Cite as

Robovie as a Mascot: A Qualitative Study for Long-Term Presence of Robots in a Shopping Mall



This paper, which reports a qualitative study on a social robot in a local shopping mall in Japan, explores how visitors interacted, understood, and accepted it. In the shopping mall where we conducted our study, Robovie, a humanoid robot, has been tested for 3 years. Based on this context of long-term exposure to a social robot, we conducted short-term interviews and observations with the visitors to the mall. We analyzed the obtained qualitative data by a grounded-theory approach and identified four common trends: (1) association of the robot with its location; (2) assigning of future roles to the robot; (3) perceiving it as a form of entertainment for children, i.e., as a mascot; and (4) perception of autonomy is independent of how the robot works. One might expect people to automatically see the robot as a utility, but instead they tended to consider it a suitable mascot.


Communication robots Social robots Robots in public place Qualitative study 

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International IRCKeihanna Science CityJapan

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