Evaluation of Robots and Avatar Perception

Assessment of user preferences

User-driven development and research is driven by user studies. Our goal is to identify user preferences for interaction with a robotic apartment and preferences of the design of the hardware interfaces.

Interaction preferences in a robotic smart apartment

In an interactive apartment study, we studied naïve user behavior upon a first encounter with the CSRA (Bernotat et al., 2016). We found that users prefer speech to control the environment. Since people are not yet familiar with intelligent environments including robots, they need careful introduction to the CSRA and its functions. Further, we showed that user characteristics, such as personality traits and affect impact the evaluation of the interaction with the systems within the CSRA (Bernotat & Eyssel, submitted).





User preferences for addressing a smart apartment

In order to explore intuitive verbal and non-verbal interfaces in smart environments we recorded user interactions with the CSRA (Holthaus et al., 2016) consisting of goal-directed actions of naive users in attempts to solve a number of predefined tasks and investigated their behavior (Schiffhauer et al., 2016) regarding the selection of interfaces when faced with a non-embodied apartment and a service robot. Results showed that the preference for an interface was context dependent, indicating that users select their interaction partner based on the functional goals they want to achieve.


Evaluation of robot head design

The implementation of the Meka robot to the CSRA was another focus of research. To fit optimally to the CSRA, a new Meka head was designed based on the existing Flobi head. We evaluated the new robot design during the developmental process to consider user preferences. Our results highlight the importance of considering the holistic robot platform compared to the robot head portraits (Bernotat and Eyssel, 2017).