Effect of a Robot on User Perceptions

*C. Kidd, C. Breazeal


Social robots, robots that help people as capable partners rather than as tools, are believed to be of greatest use for applications in entertainment, education, and healthcare because of their potential to be perceived as trusting, helpful, reliable, and engaging. This paper explores how the robot’s physical presence influences a person’s perception of these characteristics. The first study reported here demonstrates the differences between a robot and an animated character in terms a person’s engagement and perceptions of the robot and character. The second study shows that this difference is a result of the physical presence of the robot and that a person’s reactions would be similar even if the robot is not physically collocated. Implications to the design of socially communicative and interactive robots are discussed.

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