Privacy First: Designing Responsible and Inclusive Social Robot Applications for in the Wild Studies
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Deploying social robots applications in public spaces for conducting in the wild studies is a significant challenge but critical to the advancement of social robotics. Real world environments are complex, dynamic, and uncertain. Human-Robot interactions can be unstructured and unanticipated. In addition, when the robot is intended to be a shared public resource, management issues such as user access and user privacy arise, leading to design choices that can impact on users' trust and the adoption of the designed system. In this paper we propose a user registration and login system for a social robot and report on people's preferences when registering their personal details with the robot to access services. This study is the first iteration of a larger body of work investigating potential use cases for the Pepper social robot at a government managed centre for startups and innovation. We prototyped and deployed a system for user registration with the robot, which gives users control over registering and accessing services with either face recognition technology or a QR code. The QR code played a critical role in increasing the number of users adopting the technology. We discuss the need to develop social robot applications that responsibly adhere to privacy principles, are inclusive, and cater for a broad spectrum of people.
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