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Social Acceptance of Robots in Different Occupational Fields: A Systematic Literature Review


Robots today are working in both industrial and service sectors. Robots have evolved from one-function automatons to intelligent systems of versatile features, and the new generation of service robots are sharing same space and tasks with humans. The aim of this systematic literature review was to examine how the social acceptance of robots in different occupational fields has been studied and what kinds of attitudes the studies have discovered regarding robots as workers. The data were collected in October 2016 from four major bibliographic databases. Preliminary search results included 336 research articles from which 42 were selected to the final research through inclusion criteria. Of the studies, 69% concerned robots working in health and social services. Positive attitudes occurred more frequently in studies exposing participants to robots. Robots were considered appropriate for different work tasks. Telepresence robots were highly approved by health care staff. The criticism was directed to decreasing human contact and unnecessary deployment of new technology. Our results imply that attitudes toward robots are positive in many fields of work. Yet there is a need for validated measures and nationally representative data that would help us to further our understanding of social acceptance of robots in work.

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References marked with an asterisk indicate studies included in the data

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This study was funded by the Academy of Finland (grant number 292980).

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Correspondence to Atte Oksanen.

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Savela, N., Turja, T. & Oksanen, A. Social Acceptance of Robots in Different Occupational Fields: A Systematic Literature Review. Int J of Soc Robotics 10, 493–502 (2018).

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  • Robots
  • Work
  • Robot acceptance
  • Social acceptance
  • Attitudes
  • Social representations