Influence of Embodiment and Substrate of Social Robots on Users’ Decision-Making and Attitude

  • Bingcheng Wang
  • Pei-Luen Patrick RauEmail author


We explored decision-making and attitudes from humans toward robots with different embodiments and substrates. Specifically, four types of robots were compared through experiments, namely, a virtual reality robot, an augmented reality robot, a physical robot, and a physical but tele-present robot that was displayed on a screen. For the experiments, 60 participants were divided into four groups to answer ten questions, and the robots provided advice about each question. Then, the participants chose whether to take the advice and their initial and final choices were registered. We measured each participant’s faith, attachment, social presence, and credibility toward the four robots through questionnaires. We found that the physical embodiment is significantly more favored by the participants, whereas the virtual embodiment is the less favored. Moreover, a robot sharing the same substrate as the participant is preferred over one not sharing the same substrate. These findings, their interpretation, and application to robots can lead to improved design and development of social robots.


Embodiment Substrate Social robot Human–robot interaction Virtual reality Augmented reality 



This study was funded by the National Key Resource and Development Plan under Grant No. 2016YFB1001200-2.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial EngineeringTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

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