What is a robot companion - friend, assistant or butler?
The study presented in this paper explored people's perceptions and attitudes towards the idea of a future robot companion for the home. A human-centred approach was adopted using questionnaires and human-robot interaction trials to derive data from 28 adults. Results indicated that a large proportion of participants were in favour of a robot companion and saw the potential role as being an assistant, machine or servant. Few wanted a robot companion to be a friend. Household tasks were preferred to child/animal care tasks. Humanlike communication was desirable for a robot companion, whereas humanlike behaviour and appearance were less essential. Results are discussed in relation to future research directions for the development of robot companions.