User-centered feedback design in person-following robots for older adults

Samuel Olatunji, Tal Oron-Gilad, Vardit Sarne-Fleischmann, Yael Edan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Feedback design is an important aspect in person-following robots for older adults. This paper presents a user-centered design approach to ensure the design is focused on users' needs and preferences. A sequence of user studies with a total of 35 older adults (aged 62 years and older) was conducted to explore their preferences regarding feedback parameters for a socially assistive person-following robot. The preferred level of robot transparency and the desired content for the feedback was first explored. This was followed by an assessment of the preferred mode and timing of feedback. The chosen feedback parameters were then implemented and evaluated in a final experiment to evaluate the effectiveness of the design. Results revealed that older adults preferred to receive only basic status information. They preferred voice feedback over tone, and at a continuous rate to keep them constantly aware of the state and actions of the robot. The outcome of the study is a further step towards feedback design guidelines that could improve interaction quality in person-following robots for older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-103
Number of pages18
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding : This research was supported by the EU funded Innovative Training Network (ITN) in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie People Programme (Horizon2020): SOCRATES (Social Cognitive Robotics in a European Society training research network), grant agreement number 721619 and by the Ministry of Science Fund, grant agreement number 47897. Partial support was provided by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev through the Helmsley Charitable Trust, the Agricultural, Biological and Cognitive Robotics Initiative, the Marcus Endowment Fund, the Center for Digital Innovation research fund, the Rabbi W.Gunther Plaut Chair in Manufacturing Engineering and the George Shrut Chair in Human Performance Management.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Samuel Olatunji et al., published by De Gruyter 2020.


  • feedback design
  • human-robot interaction
  • person-following
  • socially assistive robots


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