"what's That Robot Doing Here?": Perceptions of Incidental Encounters with Autonomous Quadruped Robots

Elliott Hauser, Yao Cheng Chan, Parth Chonkar, Geethika Hemkumar, Huihai Wang, Daksh Dua, Shikhar Gupta, Efren Mendoza Enriquez, Tiffany Kao, Justin Hart, Reuth Mirsky, Joydeep Biswas, Junfeng Jiao, Peter Stone

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Autonomous service robots in a public setting will generate hundreds of incidental human-robot encounters, yet researchers have only recently addressed this important topic in earnest. In this study, we hypothesized that visual indicators of human control, such as a leash on a robot, would impact humans' perceptions of robots in the context of human-robot encounters. A pilot study (n = 26) and a revised study (n = 22) including semi-structured interviews (n = 21) were conducted. The interview data suggested that the presence of another human during the encounter elicited positive reactions from the participants. Counter to these interview findings, the Godspeed-based survey data yielded largely statistically insignificant results between the conditions. We interpret this as evidence that traditional HRI survey instruments focused on the perception of robot characteristics may not be suitable for incidental human-robot encounters research. We suggest that human-robot encounters can be meaningfully characterized by participants' ability or inability to answer implicit questions such as, "what is that robot doing here?". We conclude with recommendations for human-robot encounters research methods and call for research on the intelligibility and acceptability of perceived robot purpose during human-robot encounters.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTAS 2023 - Proceedings of the 1st International Symposium on Trustworthy Autonomous Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9798400707346
DOIs
StatePublished - 11 Jul 2023
Event1st International Symposium on Trustworthy Autonomous Systems, TAS 2023 - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Jul 202312 Jul 2023

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series

Conference

Conference1st International Symposium on Trustworthy Autonomous Systems, TAS 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityEdinburgh
Period11/07/2312/07/23

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Owner/Author.

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