Care-O-bot® 3 - Vision of a robot butler
This chapter promotes the idea of a robot butler and investigates the advantages and disadvantages of embodiment for the proposed scenario,Tina and her butler". In order to make the discussion more tangible, Care-O-bot® 3 is introduced, which is the newest version of the Care-O-bot® series developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart, Germany. Remarkably, the prominent role of this robot was chosen to be a butler's. A brief overview is given of current human-robot interaction research, focusing on how users react to the idea of a robot companion. The results of different user studies provided inspiration during the design phase of Care-O-bot® 3, in particular with respect to the robot's appearance and the user interaction concept. The technological aspects are covered shortly before user interaction scenarios embedded in research projects related with Care-O-bot® 3 are presented. Results from real life trials conducted in an elderly care facility are given afterwards. Against the background of these scenarios, the benefits and drawbacks of embodiment for the virtual butler scenario are discussed using the example of Care-O-bot® 3.