Investigating positioning and gaze behaviors of social robots: people's preferences, perceptions, and behaviors

Michiel Pieter Joosse

    Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

    764 Downloads (Pure)


    As technology advances, application areas for robots are no longer limited to the factories where they perform repetitive tasks behind fences. Robots are envisioned to provide services to us in everyday public spaces - in which they will encounter and interact with people. These types of robots can be considered as social robots, and should interact with people following the behavioral norms people expect of the robot within a specific context.

    Compared to interactions people have with social robots in homes and classrooms, interactions with guide robots in public spaces are likely to be of a more incidental nature and shorter duration. This makes it perhaps even more important that users immediately understand how to use the robot. And what intentions and messages the robot communicates. Given that people apply social rules when interpreting the behavior of media (such as computers and robots), we have investigated social norms for social robots; in particular the non-verbal behaviors of (interpersonal) distance and gaze. In this thesis we have investigated people's preferences for, perceptions of, and behaviors towards social robots through a series nine (lab and field) studies.

    The work presented in this thesis provides empirical and methodological contributions to the development of social robots in semi-public spaces. The research in this thesis shows that the behaviors of social robots that provide services such as wayfinding in public spaces (such as airports) should, to an extent, be designed in a human-like way. This thesis offers practical guidelines for designers and developers of social robots. Specifically in terms of which distance robots should keep from groups of people, and in which direction a robot should gaze when guiding (small) groups. The results of this thesis contribute toward the development of social robots in semi-public spaces. The behavior of social robots should suit the context of use. In order to design behaviors for future social robots it is necessary for HRI researchers to study people's interactions with robots in this context of use during the development cycle of a social robot.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Twente
    • Evers, Vanessa, Supervisor
    Award date20 Jul 2017
    Place of PublicationEnschede
    Print ISBNs978-90-365-4376-7
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2017


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