The Benefits of Interactions with Physically Present Robots over Video-Displayed Agents


This paper explores how a robot’s physical presence affects human judgments of the robot as a social partner. For this experiment, participants collaborated on simple book-moving tasks with a humanoid robot that was either physically present or displayed via a live video feed. Multiple tasks individually examined the following aspects of social interaction: greetings, cooperation, trust, and personal space. Participants readily greeted and cooperated with the robot whether present physically or in live video display. However, participants were more likely both to fulfill an unusual request and to afford greater personal space to the robot when it was physically present, than when it was shown on live video. The same was true when the live video displayed robot’s gestures were augmented with disambiguating 3-D information. Questionnaire data support these behavioral findings and also show that participants had an overall more positive interaction with the physically present robot.

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Correspondence to Wilma A. Bainbridge.

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Bainbridge, W.A., Hart, J.W., Kim, E.S. et al. The Benefits of Interactions with Physically Present Robots over Video-Displayed Agents. Int J of Soc Robotics 3, 41–52 (2011).

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  • Human-robot interaction
  • Presence
  • Cooperation
  • Trust
  • Personal space