Person Transfers Between Multiple Service Robots
As more service robots are deployed in the world, human-robot interaction will not be limited to one-to-one interactions between users and robots. Instead, users will likely have to interact with multiple robots, simultaneously or sequentially, throughout their day to receive services and complete different tasks. In this dissertation, I describe work, in collaboration with my colleagues, broadened the knowledge on a crucial aspect of multi-robot human interaction: person transfer, or the act of transferring users between multiple service robots. We first investigated rationales for transfer and important aspects of transferring users. We then explored how person transfers should be designed and implemented in laboratory and field settings. We used a combination of design, behavioral, and technical methods to understand the challenges and nuances in realizing person transfers. Our research consisted of (1) A collection of Research through Design workshops to chart out the space of person transfers; (2) A lab study to understand how people perceive social interaction between robots and the flow of information in a person transfer scenario; (3) A description of an interactive system that implemented realistic person transfers in both laboratory and field settings; (4) A lab study that evaluated different robot joining strategies and people’s spatial behavioral responses during person transfers; and (5) An in-the-field demonstration of person transfers. Our work seeks to increase our understanding of this crucial phase and inform developers and designers about appropriate robot behaviors when a human is being transferred from one robot to another.
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)