In order to operate in human-populated environments, robots need to show reasonable behaviors and human-compatible abilities. In the so-called Symbiotic Autonomy, robots and humans help each other to overcome mutual limitations and complete their tasks. When the robot takes the initiative and asks the human for help, there is a change of perspective in the interaction, which has not yet been specifically addressed by HRI studies. In this paper, we investigate the novel scenario brought about by Symbiotic Autonomy, by addressing the factors that may influence the interaction. In particular, we introduce the “Collaboration Attitude” to evaluate how the response of users being asked by the robot for help is influenced by the context of the interaction and by what they are doing (i.e., ongoing activity). We present the results of a first study, which confirms the influence of conventional factors (i.e., proxemics) on the Collaboration Attitude, while it suggests that the context (i.e., relaxing vs. working) may not be much relevant. Then, we present a second study, carried out to better assess the influence of the activity performed by the humans in our population, when (s)he is approached by the robot, as an additional and more compelling characterization of context (i.e., standing vs. sitting). While the experimental scenario takes into account a population with distinctive characteristics (i.e., academic staff and students), the overall findings of our studies suggest that the attitude of users towards robots in the setting of Symbiotic Autonomy is influenced by factors already known to influence robot acceptance while it is not significantly affected by the context of the interaction and by the human ongoing activity.
2020, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SOCIAL ROBOTICS, Pages 589-598 (volume: 12)
Who is Willing to Help Robots? A User Study on Collaboration Attitude (01a Articolo in rivista)
Vanzo A., Riccio F., Sharf M., Mirabella V., Catarci T., Nardi D.