The Relationship Between Robot Appearance and Interaction with Child Users: How Distance Matters
This study intends to explore child patrons’ interaction with robots by assessing the interpersonal distance under a specific context of library. In addition to the general exploration on human preference and performance in HRI, it is expected to understand more profoundly the activities and intentions people possessed through the systematical investigation of interaction context and structural measurement of interpersonal distance. Previous studies in human-robot interaction have suggested several factors that are important including robots’ appearance, users’ features and their perceptions of robots. However, studies regarding child users are few, and the understanding of children’s attitudes toward robots remains limited due to insufficient or unempirical supports. Studies regarding the human-robot interaction support that the personal space also appears inevitably that reflects human intentions to interact with the robots. In addition, another critical but less-explored factor that affect human-robot interaction is contextual effect. Contextual cues are what people sense and rely on to proceed with conversations, and cannot be overlooked in the exploration of any interaction.
This study recruited 77 elementary students from 3rd–6th grade and assigned the task to be recommended the book from the robot in the library. The personal space that the participants kept with different appearance robots and the attitude they had to the robot were recorded and analyzed. The result showed that the participants had positive attitude to the robots and felt comfort when interacting with robots. Among them, girls were more positive than the boys. Additionally, the one that interacted with human-like robot kept the personal space closer than the one that interacted with machine-like robot. The former one interacted with the robot in intimate space that indicates that the participants took the library as a private space and thought the robot as their close friend.
KeywordsLibrary robot Reader service for children Personal space
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