How the Timing and Magnitude of Robot Errors Influence Peoples’ Trust of Robots in an Emergency Scenario

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10652)


Trust is a key factor in human users’ acceptance of robots in a home or human oriented environment. Humans should be able to trust that they can safely interact with their robot. Robots will sometimes make errors, due to mechanical or functional failures. It is therefore important that a domestic robot should have acceptable interactive behaviours when exhibiting and recovering from an error situation. In order to define these behaviours, it is firstly necessary to consider that errors can have different degrees of consequences. We hypothesise that the severity of the consequences and the timing of a robot’s different types of erroneous behaviours during an interaction may have different impacts on users’ attitudes towards a domestic robot. In this study we used an interactive storyboard presenting ten different scenarios in which a robot performed different tasks under five different conditions. Each condition included the ten different tasks performed by the robot, either correctly, or with small or big errors. The conditions with errors were complemented with four correct behaviours. At the end of each experimental condition, participants were presented with an emergency scenario to evaluate their current trust in the robot. We conclude that there is correlation between the magnitude of an error performed by the robot and the corresponding loss of trust of the human in the robot.


Human-Robot Interaction Social robotics Robot companion Trust in robots Trust recovery 



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 642667 (Safety Enables Cooperation in Uncertain Robotic Environments - SECURE).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Adaptive Systems Research GroupUniversity of HertfordshireHatfieldUK

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