With a Little Help of Humans. An Exploratory Study of Delivery Robots Stuck in Snow

Anna Dobrosovestnova*, Isabel Schwaninger, Astrid Weiss

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

People's willingness to help robots has been explored in the lab and in the wild in various settings. While previous studies relied on robotic prototypes, service robots are now already deployed in public spaces. This presents a novel and exciting opportunity for human-robot interaction (HRI) scholars to study robotic technologies in the context of their deployment. In this paper, we present the qualitative methodology and the outcomes of an exploratory mixed-methods (observations, autoethnography, online content analysis) study of people voluntarily helping commercially deployed delivery robots in Tallinn, Estonia. Based on the cumulative findings of the three methods, we discuss how spontaneous help towards robots manifested, the situational factors that may have contributed to the observed helping behaviors, and the role that the perceptions of the robots as cute and helpful may have played in these interactions. While our findings support the assumption that human help is a reasonable mitigation strategy to overcoming the challenges service robots may face in uncontrolled environments, we also emphasize the importance of considering the ethical implications when commercial technology relies in part on passersby to succeed in its tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRO-MAN 2022 - 31st IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication
Subtitle of host publicationSocial, Asocial, and Antisocial Robots
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages1023-1029
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781728188591
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes
Event31st IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, RO-MAN 2022 - Napoli, Italy
Duration: 29 Aug 20222 Sept 2022

Publication series

NameRO-MAN 2022 - 31st IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication: Social, Asocial, and Antisocial Robots

Conference

Conference31st IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, RO-MAN 2022
Country/TerritoryItaly
CityNapoli
Period29/08/222/09/22

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