Qualitative User Reactions to a Hand-Clapping Humanoid Robot

  • Naomi T. FitterEmail author
  • Katherine J. Kuchenbecker
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9979)


Playful interactions serve an important role in human development and interpersonal bonding. Accordingly, we believe future robots may need to know how to play games to connect with people in meaningful ways. To begin exploring how users perceive playful human-robot interaction, we conducted a study with 20 participants. Each user played simple hand-clapping games with the Rethink Robotics Baxter Research Robot during a one-hour-long session. Qualitative data collected from surveys and experiment recordings resoundingly demonstrate that this interaction is viable: all users successfully completed the experiment, all users enjoyed at least one game, and nineteen of the 20 users identified at least one potential personal use for Baxter. Hand-clapping tempo was highly salient to users, and human-like robot errors were more widely accepted than mechanical errors. These findings can motivate and guide roboticists who want to design social-physical human-robot interactions.


Social robots physical HRI Social motor coordination 



The first author was supported by a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant No. DGE-0822 and the University of Pennsylvania’s NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship under Grant No. 0966142. We thank Michelle Neuburger for her help with this work; she was supported by NSF Grant No. 1156366. We thank Alex Burka for his design advice and Kostas Daniilidis for access to Baxter.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Haptics Group, GRASP Laboratory, Mechanical Engineering and Applied MechanicsUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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