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Service robot feature design effects on user perceptions and emotional responses

Abstract

Service robots have been developed to assist nurses in routine patient services. Prior research has recognized that patient emotional experiences with robots may be as important as robot task performance in terms of user acceptance and assessments of effectiveness. The objective of this study was to understand the effect of different service robot interface features on elderly perceptions and emotional responses in a simulated medicine delivery task. Twenty-four participants sat in a simulated patient room and a service robot delivered a bag of “medicine” to them. Repeated trials were used to present variations on three robot features, including facial configuration, voice messaging and interactivity. Participant heart rate (HR) and galvanic skin response (GSR) were collected. Participant ratings of robot humanness [perceived anthropomorphism (PA)] were collected post-trial along with subjective ratings of arousal (bored–excited) and valence (unhappy–happy) using the self-assessment manikin (SAM) questionnaire. Results indicated the presence of all three types of robot features promoted higher PA, arousal and valence, compared to a control condition (a robot without any of the features). Participant physiological responses varied with events in their interaction with the robot. The three types of features also had different utility for stimulating participant arousal and valence, as well as physiological responses. In general, results indicated that adding anthropomorphic and interactive features to service robots promoted positive emotional responses [increased excitement (GSR) and happiness (HR)] in elderly users. It is expected that results from this study could be used as a basis for developing affective robot interface design guidelines to promote user emotional experiences.

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Correspondence to David B. Kaber.

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Zhang, T., Kaber, D.B., Zhu, B. et al. Service robot feature design effects on user perceptions and emotional responses. Intel Serv Robotics 3, 73–88 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11370-010-0060-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11370-010-0060-9

Keywords

  • Service robots
  • Anthropomorphism
  • Emotion
  • Physiological variables
  • Fuzzy modeling