A Study on Automated Receptionists in a Real-World Scenario
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The commercial availability of robots and voice-operated smart devices such as Alexa or Google Home have some companies wondering whether they can replace some current human interactions by using these devices. One such area of interaction is at the reception desk. While both platforms can offer the necessary interaction features to take on the task of an automated receptionist, the question remains as to which platform actual visitors would prefer - body or no body? To this end we created a receptionist agent that can receive visitors with an appointment, presented as either an embodied robot or a disembodied smart display. The agent uses common commercial products and services, and was tested in a real-world environment with real visitors.
The results show no significant difference in visitor preference for either platform.
KeywordsHuman-robot interaction Embodiment Social agents Dialogue management Automated receptionist
The authors would like to thank Joost Bosman, Edwin van Dillen and Martijn Schuts for their willing contributions to this project.
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