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Notable Selection

Taxonomy of Trust-Relevant Failures and Mitigation Strategies - Honorable Mention

We develop a taxonomy that categorizes HRI failure types and their impact on trust to structure the broad range of knowledge contributions. We further identify research gaps in order to support fellow researchers in the development of trustworthy robots. Studying trust repair in HRI has only recently been given more interest and we propose a taxonomy of potential trust violations and suitable repair strategies to support researchers during the development of interaction scenarios. The taxonomy distinguishes four failure types: Design, System, Expectation, and User failures and outlines potential mitigation strategies. Based on these failures, strategies for autonomous failure detection and repair are presented, employing explanation, verification and validation techniques. Finally, a research agenda for HRI is outlined, discussing identified gaps related to the relation of failures and HR-trust.

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Results of Field Trials with a Mobile Service Robot for Older Adults in 16 Private Households

In this article, we present results obtained from field trials with the Hobbit robotic platform, an assistive, social service robot aiming at enabling prolonged independent living of older adults in their own homes. Our main contribution lies within the detailed results on perceived safety, usability, and acceptance from field trials with autonomous robots in real homes of older users. In these field trials, we studied how 16 older adults (75 plus) lived with autonomously interacting service robots over multiple weeks. Robots have been employed for periods of months previously in home environments for older people, and some have been tested with manipulation abilities, but this is the first time a study has tested a robot in private homes that provided the combination of manipulation abilities, autonomous navigation, and non-scheduled interaction for an extended period of time. This article aims to explore how older adults interact with such a robot in their private homes. Our results show that all users interacted with Hobbit daily, rated most functions as well working, and reported that they believe that Hobbit will be part of future elderly care. We show that Hobbit’s adaptive behavior approach towards the user increasingly eased the interaction between the users and the robot. Our trials reveal the necessity to move into actual users’ homes, as only there, we encounter real-world challenges and demonstrate issues such as misinterpretation of actions during non-scripted human-robot interaction.

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What makes people accept or reject companion robots? A research agenda - Best Paper

Social companion robots are intentionally developed and designed to support humans in useful tasks and to use social cues to establish a relationship to the user. However, so far no social companion robots existed outside of research labs to perform long-term studies „in the wild“, exploring how this relationship actually evolves over time. In this paper we present the research agenda for such a study using the soon commercially available BUDDY robot from Blue Frog Robotics. We chose a sociological ethnographic approach with eight households, methodologically mainly focusing on qualitative data gathered through a series of household visits. For data analysis we aim at extending the Domestic Robot Ecology (DRE), which was originally developed based on ethnographic studies with vacuum cleaning robots, and for data interpretation we base our work on a newly proposed sociological framework, we call everyday-life centered approach (ELCA).

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First Application of Robot Teaching in an Existing Industry 4.0 Environment: Does It Really Work?

This article reports three case studies on the usability and acceptance of an industrial robotic prototype in the context of human-robot cooperation. The three case studies were conducted in the framework of a two-year project named AssistMe, which aims at developing different means of interaction for programming and using collaborative robots in a user-centered manner. Together with two industrial partners and a technological partner, two different application scenarios were implemented and studied with an off-the-shelf robotic system. The operators worked with the robotic prototype in laboratory conditions (two days), in a factory context (one day) and in an automotive assembly line (three weeks). In the article, the project and procedures are described in detail, including the quantitative and qualitative methodology. Our results show that close human-robot cooperation in the industrial context needs adaptive pacing mechanisms in order to avoid a change of working routines for the operators and that an off-the-shelf robotic system is still limited in terms of usability and acceptance. The touch panel, which is needed for controlling the robot, had a negative impact on the overall user experience. It creates a further intermediate layer between the user, the robot and the work piece and potentially leads to a decrease in productivity. Finally, the fear of the worker of being replaced by an improved robotic system was regularly expressed and adds an additional anthropocentric dimension to the discussion of human-robot cooperation, smart factories and the upcoming Industry 4.0.

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Synchrony and Reciprocity: Key Mechanisms for Social Companion Robots in Therapy and Care

Studies and concepts for social companion robots in therapy and care exist, however, they often lack the integration of convincing behavioral and social key mechanisms which enable a positive and successfull interaction experience. In this article we argue that synchrony and reciprocity are two key mechanisms of human interaction which affect both in the behavioral level (movements) and in the social level (relationships). Given that both a change in movement behavior and social behavior are an objective in the contexts of aging-in-place, neurocognitive and neurophysical rehabilitation, and depression, these key mechanisms should also be included in the interaction with social companion robots in therapy and care. We give an overview on the two concepts ranging from a social neuroscience over a behavioral towards a sociological perspective and argue that both concepts affect each other and are up to now only marginally applied in human–robot interaction. To support this claim, we provide a survey on existing social companion robots for aging-in-place (pet robots and household robots), neurocognitive impairments (autism and dementia), neurophysical impairments (brain injury, cerebral palsy, and Parkinson’s disease), and depression. We emphasize to what extend synchrony and reciprocity are already included into the respective applications. Finally, based on the survey and the previous argumentation on the importance of synchrony and reciprocity, we provide a discussion about potential future steps for the inclusion of these concepts to social companion robots in therapy and care.

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The interactive urban robot: user-centered development and final field trial of a direction requesting robot

In this article, we present the user-centered development of the service robot IURO. IURO’s goal is to find the way to a designated place in town without any previous map knowledge, just by retrieving information from asking pedestrians for directions. We present the 3-years development process,which involved a series of studies on its appearance, communication model, feedback modalities, and social navigation mechanisms. Our main contribution lies within the final field trial.With the autonomous IURO platform, we performed a series of six way-finding runs (over 24 hours of run-time in total) in the city center of Munich, Germany. The robot interacted with approximately 100 pedestrians of which 36 interactions included a full route dialogue. A variety of empirical methods was used to explore reactions of primary users (pedestrians who actually interacted with the robot) and secondary users (bystanders who observed others interacting). The gathered data provides insights into usability, user experience, and acceptance of IURO and allowed us deriving recommendations for the development of other socially interactive robots.

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Exploring challenging environments: Contextual research in the car and the factory through an HCI lens

Nontraditional environments offer a variety of methodological challenges when exploring cooperation under very specific contextual conditions. We understand contexts as challenging when they exhibit very specific/unique characteristics that need to be explored beyond traditional and already better-understood working/office settings. Moreover, these challenging environments are contexts in which human-human interaction mediated by computing systems and human-machine collaboration is hard to observe. In this paper, we focus on two challenging environments: the highly context-dependent automotive environment and the complex context of a semiconductor factory. Both contexts offer potential in a variety of ways for novel computer-supported cooperative work research, such as driver/codriver cooperation and operator-robot cooperation. In this book chapter, two exemplary contexts “car” and “factory” will be characterized in terms of (1) research challenges posed by the context, (2) performed exploratory studies, and (3) methodological implications for the two exemplary contexts, as well as for CSCW and HCI research practices in general.

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Exploring Persuasion in the Home: Results of a Long-Term Study on Energy Consumption Behavior - Best Paper

This paper presents a seven-months field study on a persuasive ambient display in private households. The FORE-Watch aims at adjusting the consumption behavior of energy users in 24 multi-person households and persuading them to change their timing of consumption activities; half of them were shown a forecast of the occupancy rate of the local energy grid (i.e., grid status), and the other half were shown how much energy will be delivered by green sources such as windmills (i.e., green energy). Our qualitative and quantitative survey and the energy consumption data revealed that the grid status group showed a more constant behavior than the green energy, indicating that the more dynamic forecast presentation did not lead to the same type of behavior change as the static forecast presentation. Overall, the FORE-Watch aroused awareness, attention and interest through permanent presence, clear and simple information, and changed the energy consumption behavior of our participants.

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Complete List

PhD Thesis

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Proceedings and Special Issues

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Book Chapters

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Journals

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Peer-reviewed conference proceedings (Full Papers)

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Peer-reviewed Short Papers and Posters

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