How Does Presence of a Human Operator Companion Influence People’s Interaction with a Robot?
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It is increasingly common for people to work alongside robots in a variety of situations. When a robot is completing a task, the human operator of the robot may be present at the work site or operating remotely. It is important to understand how people’s behavior towards a robot is influenced by the presence or absence of the operator. We observed individuals in public locations as they pass by a robot with and without a visible human operator. We show that individuals were more likely to approach and interact with the robot when it was alone. Also, individuals that interacted with the robot when it was alone were more likely to take extra candy from the robot. Our results suggest that robots with visible operators discourage interaction with the robot but encourage honesty in interactions with the robot.
KeywordsHuman factors Human-robot interaction Honest behavior
The authors would like to thank the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems at Mississippi State University for providing funds to support the research project. We would also like to thank Christopher Hudson, T.J. Ciufo, Darren Fray, Austin Chambliss, Jennifer Carruth, and the staff at the Colvard Student Union and the Mitchell Memorial Library for their assistance and support during the study.
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