Robotic etiquette: results from user studies involving a fetch and carry task
This paper presents results, outcomes and conclusions from a series of Human Robot Interaction (HRI) trials which investigated how a robot should approach a human in a fetch and carry task. Two pilot trials were carried out, aiding the development of a main HRI trial with four different approach contexts under controlled experimental conditions. The findings from the pilot trials were confirmed and expanded upon. Most subjects disliked a frontal approach when seated. In general, seated humans do not like to be approached by a robot directly from the front even when seated behind a table. A frontal approach is more acceptable when a human is standing in an open area. Most subjects preferred to be approached from either the left or right side, with a small overall preference for a right approach by the robot. However, this is not a strong preference and it may be disregarded if it is more physically convenient to approach from a left front direction. Handedness and occupation were not related to these preferences. Subjects do not usually like the robot to move or approach from directly behind them, preferring the robot to be in view even if this means the robot taking a physically non-optimum path. The subjects for the main HRI trials had no previous experience of interacting with robots. Future research aims are outlined and include the necessity of carrying out longitudinal trials to see if these findings hold over a longer period of exposure to robots.