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Invisible Machinery in Function, Not Form: User Expectations of Domestic Use Humanoid Robots

Julie Carpenter , Joan M. Davis , Norah Erwin-Stewart , Tiffany R. Lee , John Bransford , Nancy Vye

This study examines people’s expectations about humanoid robots in terms of existing beliefs, opinions and responses to video stimulus of human-robot interactions. A robot intended for home use triggers many feelings in people including fascination, unease, fear and curiosity. A humanoid robot – one designed with humanlike morphology, behaviours, speech or other anthropomorphic indicators – brings additional issues to the human-robot interaction (HRI) scenario. In order to get a full idea of participants’ opinions and reactions, we applied post- video viewing questionnaires, physiological measures to test for arousal level and post-video semi-structured interviews to nineteen participants. We expected users to be interested in the robots but also to bring distinct culturally embedded expectations about robots in general. Users described their concerns about robot ownership and interaction, demonstrating emerging patterns of common issues.


agents, autonomous robots, technology