Prototyping Realistic Long-Term Human-Robot Interaction for the Study of Agent Migration
Syrdal, Dag Sverre
This paper examines participants’ experiences of interacting with a robotic companion (agent) that has the ability to move its “mind” between different robotic embodiments to take advantage of the features and functionalities associated with the different embodiments in a process called agent migration. In particular, we focus on identifying factors that can help the companion retain its identity in different embodiments. This includes examining the clarity of the migration behaviour and how this behaviour may contribute to identity retention. Nine participants took part in a long-term study, and interacted with the robotic companion in the smart house twice-weekly over a period of 5 weeks. We used Narrative-based Integrated Episodic Scenario (NIES) framework for designing long-term interaction scenarios that provided habituation and intervention phases while conveying the impression of continuous long-term interaction. The results show that NEIS allows us to explore complex intervention scenarios and obtain a sense of continuity of context across the long-term study. The results also suggest that as participants become habituated with the companion, they found the realisation of migration signaling clearer, and felt more certain of the identity of the companion in later sessions, and that the most important factor for this was the agent’s continuation of tasks across embodiments. This paper is both empirical as well as methodological in nature.