Social Robots - Robotics and Toy Computing

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    Responsible Human-Robot Interaction with Anthropomorphic Service Robots: State of the Art of an Interdisciplinary Research Challenge
    ( 2022-01-04) Stock-Homburg, Ruth Maria ; Kirchhoff, Jérôme ; Heinisch, Judith S. ; Ebert, Andreas ; Busch, Philip ; Rawal, Niyati ; David, Klaus ; Wendt, Janine ; Spiecker Gen. Döhmann, Indra ; Von Stryk, Oskar ; Hannig, Martin ; Knof, Merlind
    Anthropomorphic service robots are on the rise. The more capable they become and the more regular they are applied in real-world settings, the more critical becomes the responsible design of human-robot interaction (HRI) with special attention to human dignity, transparency, privacy, and robot compliance. In this paper we review the interdisciplinary state of the art relevant for the responsible design of HRI. Furthermore, directions for future research on the responsible design of HRI with anthropomorphic service robots are suggested.
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    Communicating with Humans and Robots: A Motion Tracking Data Glove for Enhanced Support of Deafblind
    ( 2022-01-04) Gelsomini, Federico ; Tomasuolo, Elena ; Roccaforte, Maria ; Hung, Patrick ; Kapralos, Bill ; Doubrowski, Adam ; Quevedo, Alvaro ; Kanev, Kamen ; Makoto, Hosoda ; Mimura, Hidenori
    In this work, we discuss the design and development of a communication system for enhanced support of the deafblind. The system is based on an advanced motion tracking Data Glove that allows for high fidelity determination of finger postures with consequent identification of the basic Malossi alphabet signs. A natural, easy-to-master alphabet extension that supports single-hand signing without touch surface sensing is described, and different scenarios for its use are discussed. The focus is on using the extended Malossi alphabet as a communication medium in a Data Glove-based interface for remote messaging and interactive control of mobile robots. This may be of particular interest to the deafblind community, where distant communications and robotized support and services are rising. The designed Data Glove-based communication interface requires minimal adjustments to the Malossi alphabet and can be mastered after a short training period. The natural interaction style supported by the Data Glove and the popularity of the Malossi alphabet among the deafblind should greatly facilitate the wider adoption of the developed interface.
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    Attachment Theory as a Framework to Understand Relationships with Social Chatbots: A Case Study of Replika
    ( 2022-01-04) Xie, Tianling ; Pentina, Iryna
    With increasing adoption of AI social chatbots, especially during the pandemic-related lockdowns, when people lack social companionship, there emerges a need for in-depth understanding and theorizing of relationship formation with digital conversational agents. Following the grounded theory approach, we analyzed in-depth interview transcripts obtained from 14 existing users of AI companion chatbot Replika. The emerging themes were interpreted through the lens of the attachment theory. Our results show that under conditions of distress and lack of human companionship, individuals can develop an attachment to social chatbots if they perceive the chatbots’ responses to offer emotional support, encouragement, and psychological security. These findings suggest that social chatbots can be used for mental health and therapeutic purposes but have the potential to cause addiction and harm real-life intimate relationships.
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    Assisting People of Determination and the Elderly Using Social Robot: A Case Study
    ( 2022-01-04) Shah, Muhammad Umair ; Iqbal, Farkhund
    A technological innovation that has recently garnered attention in the literature is social humanoid robots' applications. Ever since their commercialization, social robots have been viewed as a valuable tool to assist individuals in their daily activities. As people grow older, their capabilities to accomplish everyday activities gradually deteriorate. Consequently, there is a pressing need for research on the positive benefits offered by humanoid robots. This paper explores the implications of a social robot, Zenbo, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We propose that the Zenbo be helpful in assisting vulnerable elderly populations, ordinary citizens, and People of Determination. This study can guide the UAE policymakers to allow elderly peoples and disabled individuals to use Zenbo to ensure their safety and well-being. This technological advancement can help transform the traditional support systems offered to the vulnerable populations in the Middle East.
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    An Exploratory Study to Determine the Effects Conversational Repetition Has on Perceived Workload and User Experience Quality in an Online Human-Robot Interaction
    ( 2022-01-04) Gittens, Curtis ; Garnes, Damian
    Human-robot interaction studies in the Caribbean currently face two challenges. First, the robots used in these studies have difficulty understanding many of the regional accents spoken study participants. Secondly, the global pandemic has made in-person HRI studies in the Caribbean more challenging due to the physical and social distancing mandates. This paper reports on our exploratory study to determine what kind of impact these two challenges have on HRI by evaluating the effect conversational repetition has on a human-robot conversation done using video conferencing software. Using network analysis, the results obtained suggest that conversational repetition has several subtle relationships on perceived workload. One interesting finding is that frustration and effort are indirectly affected by conversational repetition. Results from the short User Experience Questionnaire indicate that the overall quality of the user experience is perceived as positive-neutral. This encouraging result indicates that video conferencing may be a suitable interaction modality for HRI studies in the Caribbean.