Master Thesis - Design guidelines for social robots working in public space
A Social Service Robot for public space does need a face, but it needs to be able to read signals from the person it is interacting with! Also in order to work as a social entity the robot does not need to look like any relatable living object, but can work perfectly fine despite an abstract design, though one should consider size, shape and color as my results have uncovered a fear of robots among especially young and smaller girls.
For this project I have developed a prototype of a Social Service Robot, that are to live in the city center and keep it clean 7 days a week. While keeping the city clean (by sweeping the streets) the robot also features a social function that allows for people to interact with it and ask for information about for instance tourist destinations, or other questions that people normally would address the public personal working in the streets, like gardeners, policemen, tourists bureaus, etc.
I have set up a web site that will explain more about the project / concept, my data and my guidelines, you will find the link to your right (SoSeRo.org). Below here you can find pictures and video material from the project.
For my master thesis I was making design guidelines for a social service robot. This I did by first building a prototype, based on request for such a robot from external partners, then test the prototype in the centre of Sønderborg, and finally analize and evalute my results.
The guidelines I ended up with are as follows:
- Being social does not require a face
- Abstract design works so why go humanoid?
- Perceptual crossing is the key
- Size, shape and color add more than just a beautiful design
Important keywords for the project are:
- Rapid prototyping
- Ethnographic research
- Interaction design
- User Centered Design
- User Experience Design
For further information:
The Social Robot (trailer)
A short 1 minute trailer that presents the concept of the social service robot from the very beginning and all the way to the HRI field studies.
If you find this interesting, here are three other projects that might interest you as well...