Would you like to sample'l Robot engagement in a shopping centre

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Citation:
RO-MAN 2017 - 26th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, 2017, 2017-January pp. 42 - 49
Issue Date:
2017-12-08
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© 2017 IEEE. Nowadays, robots are gradually appearing in public spaces such as libraries, train stations, airports and shopping centres. Only a limited percentage of research literature explores robot applications in public spaces. Studying robot applications in the wild is particularly important for designing commercially viable applications able to meet a specific goal. Therefore, in this paper we conduct an experiment to test a robot application in a shopping centre, aiming to provide results relevant for today's technological capability and market. We compared the performance of a robot and a human in promoting food samples in a shopping centre, a well known commercial application, and then analysed the effects of the type of engagement used to achieve this goal. Our results show that the robot is able to engage customers similarly to a human as expected. However unexpectedly, while an actively engaging human was able to perform better than a passively engaging human, we found the opposite effect for the robot. In this paper we investigate this phenomenon, with possible explanation ready to be explored and tested in subsequent research.
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