Human Perception Of Domestic Robots Essay

1587 words - 6 pages

In this section, we will explore the results of some previous studies to identify the factors that affect the human perception of domestic robots, in general. By human perception, I mean what people think of appearance of domestic robots – machinelike or humanlike, the preferences and expectations of people from the domestic robots in terms of physical embodiment and capabilities. Researchers had found that human perception of domestic robots was greatly influenced by the science fiction movies and previous experiences [2, 4]. People usually expected that domestic robots would help them in their daily routine work like vacuuming, entertainment and least preferred child-care activities [2, 11]. The factors that affect human perception are as follows:
First of all, the expectations of people from domestic robots play a crucial role in building the perception of people. Forlizzi and DiSalvo [5] showed that people perceived domestic robots to be “intelligent” one as other existing technologies are. People thought of domestic robots as an intelligent machine having on-going learning mechanism. They found that people felt disappointed when Roomba got stuck while vacuuming. People expected that Roomba should be intelligent enough to learn the domestic settings and then become able to perform its tasks in a more organized fashion. In addition, they expected that robots should interact with humans through natural language like speech [11].
Secondly, the personality of an individual also affects one’s preferences and perceptions of domestic robots. Syrdal et al. [20] discovered a possible relationship between people’s personalities and their preferences. More introverted individuals tended to prefer mechanoid robot appearance and extroverts preferred more humanoid robots. This suggests that people's preferences for robot appearance and behaviour may also be related to aspects of their personalities.
In order to explore the preferences and perceptions of people on the appearance and size of domestic robots, Walters et al. [21] conducted a study with four robots: A - small mechanoid robot, B - small humanoid robot, C - tall mechanoid robot and D - tall humanoid robot. Authors found that people who choose taller or humanoid type robots for their own domestic use, will tend to prefer closer approaches than those who choose a smaller mechanoid type robot design. Unobtrusive, emotionally undemanding servant or smart machine was more acceptable by the people. Also, majority of the people preferred a robot which they personally perceived as having an extrovert and agreeable personality (robot types B, C and D), and a minority preferred a small robot with no strongly perceived robot personality factors (robot type A). In addition, humanoid robots also tended to be perceived as more intelligent with richer personalities than the mechanoid robots. The participants perceived the small humanoid robot as more childlike, thus not be capable of carrying out useful...

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