Temporal patterns in multi-modal social interaction between elderly users and service robot

Interaction Studies 20 (1):4-24 (2019)
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Social interaction, especially for older people living alone is a challenge currently facing human-robot interaction (HRI). There has been little research on user preference towards HRI interfaces. In this paper, we took both objective observations and participants’ opinions into account in studying older users with a robot partner. The developed dual-modal robot interface offered older users options of speech or touch screen to perform tasks. Fifteen people aged from 70 to 89 years old, participated. We analyzed the spontaneous actions of the participants, including their attentional activities and conversational activities, the temporal characteristics of these social behaviours, as well as questionnaires. It has been revealed that social engagement with the robot demonstrated by older people was no different from what might be expected towards a human partner. This study is an early attempt to reveal the social connections between human beings and a personal robot in real life.



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