Understanding older adults? attitude toward robots has become increasingly important as robots have been introduced in various settings, such as retirement homes. We investigated whether there are age differences in both implicit and explicit attitudes toward robots after interacting with an assistive robot. Twenty-four younger and 24 older adults were recruited. Explicit attitudes were measured by self-reported questionnaires both before and after interacting with the robot. State curiosity toward robots was also measured as a momentary form of explicit attitude. Implicit attitude was measured via an implicit association test. Our results showed that 1) both older and younger adults had more positive explicit attitudes toward robots after interaction, 2) older adults had lower state curiosity than younger adults; however, their state curiosity would be up to the same level as younger adults when they perceived the robot with higher levels of personal association, and 3) the implicit association between robots and negative words was stronger for older adults than younger adults, suggesting that older adults had more implicit negative attitudes toward robots. The results suggest that, despite older adults? relatively more negative implicit attitudes toward robots, personally relevant positive experiences could help improve their explicit attitudes toward robots.
This paper explores a collaborative group learning scenario with an autonomous empathic robot. We address two research questions: (1) can a robotic tutor designed with empathic capabilities foster collaborative learning in a group context? and (2) can an empathic robot sustain positive educational outcomes in long-term collaborative learning interactions with groups of students? To answer these questions, we have built an autonomous robot with empathic competencies that is able to interact in a group setting featuring a serious game in the area of sustainable development. Groups of students interacted with the autonomous robotic tutor deployed in a school classroom. Two studies were conducted. The first study compared learning outcomes by the children across 3 conditions: learning with the empathic robot; learning with the robot without empathic capabilities; and learning without the robot. In this paper we show that the autonomous robot with empathy impacts positively learning outcomes of students in a group context. To address the second question, a study was conducted featuring groups of students interacting with the robot deployed in a school classroom for two months. The results showed that longer-term interactions with an empathic robotic tutor maintained learning outcomes over this period of time.
Depictions of robots and AIs in science-fiction movies and shows have the potential to showcase visions of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) to the general public and researchers alike. In contrast, studies on the impact of these portrayals by computer scientists in their research publications is an academic void at present. Such investigations are critical in order to better understand the potential utility and latent shortcomings of science fiction robots for future HRI research, innovation and education. To address this research gap, this study investigates the overall presence, the nature and frequency of referrals of 18 popular science fiction robots in the ACM Digital Library. To do so, we performed full-text search- and retrieval queries for each individual robot in the ACM Digital Library and identified 121 relevant mentions across 102 individual publications. These 121 mentions were then qualitatively analysed to determine the nature of the robot mentions. Our results indicate that evolutionary trends exist in the referrals of the robots and voice or dialogue was emerging as a popular inspirational element. We also observe that the dystopian element of sci-fi is under utilised and in general there are more papers of philosophical nature than technical which cite such robots.
What do older adults and clinicians think about traditional mobility aids and exoskeleton technology?
We empirically test whether peoples perceptions of a minimal robots intelligence, dominance and status can be changed using motion paths. A Wizard-of-Oz experiment (N = 25) evaluated the effect of motion path variations on the perception of a robotic ottoman in the home. Self-report measures and content analysis of interview transcripts were used to analyze perceptions of the robot. People rated Motion A, which was fast, long in length, in front of the person and included raises, as showing greater intelligence and status than Motion B, which was slow, short in length, to the side of the person and included no raises. People rated motion that was relative to the user (i.e., motion in which the robot moved toward or away from the user) as more intelligent and higher status than motion in which the robot moved in a self-focused way, unrelated to the user. We present design guidelines about how a minimal robots motion path can be used to generate perceptions of high and low intelligence and status.
Blossom is an open-source social robotics platform responding to three gaps in existing systems: (1) Designing, manufacturing, and programing social robots requires a high level of technical knowledge; (2) social robot designs are fixed in appearance and movement capabilities, making them hard to adapt to a specific application; and (3) the use of rigid mechanisms and hard outer shells limits the robots' expressive capabilities. In contrast, Blossom aims at three design objectives: accessibility, flexibility, and expressiveness. The robot's mechanism can be quickly assembled and extended by end-users. Blossom's appearance is open-ended through handcrafted fabric exteriors created and customized by users. Smooth organic movements are achieved with tensile mechanisms, elastic components, and a soft exterior cover attached loosely to the body. Blossom's smartphone-based gesture generation requires neither programming nor character animation experience, allowing users to easily create their own behaviors. All elements in the design were conceived with low cost and a low barrier-of-entry in mind. The result is an accessible and customizable robot for researchers and hobbyists. This paper details the implementation of Blossom's design and demonstrates the platform's potential through four field deployment case studies.