A long-term Human-Robot Proxemic study
A long-term Human-Robot Proxemic (HRP) study was performed using a newly developed Autonomous Proxemic System (APS) for a robot to measure and control the approach distances to the human participants. The main findings were that most HRP adaptation occurred in the first two interaction sessions, and for the remaining four weeks, approach distance preferences remained relatively steady, apart from some short periods of increased distances for some participants. There were indications that these were associated with episodes where the robot malfunctioned, so this raises the possibility of users trust in the robot affecting HRP distance. The study also found that approach distances for humans approaching the robot and the robot approaching the human were comparable, though there were indications that humans preferred to approach the robot more closely than they allowed the robot to approach them in a physically restricted area. Two participants left the study prematurely, stating they were bored with the repetitive experimental procedures. This highlights issues related to the often incompatible demands of keeping experimental controlled conditions vs. having realistic, engaging and varied HRI trial scenarios.