An Experimental Study of Embodied Interaction and Human Perception of Social Presence for Interactive Robots in Public Settings

Damith Herath, Elizabeth Jochum, Evgenios Vlachos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


The human perception of robots as social depends on many factors, including those that do not necessarily pertain to a robot's cognitive functioning. Experience design (ED) offers a useful framework for evaluating when participants interact with robots as products or tools and when they regard them as social actors. This paper describes a between-participants experiment conducted at a science museum, where visitors were invited to play a game of noughts and crosses with a Baxter robot. The goal is to foster meaningful interactions that promote engagement between the human and the robot in a museum context. Using an ED framework, we tested the robot in three different conditions to better understand which factors contribute to the perception of robots as social. The experiment also outlines best practices for conducting human-robot interaction research in museum exhibitions. Results from the study indicate that perceived social presence can be evaluated using a combination of human robot interaction and ED methods that measure co-presence and co-experience.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8240698
Pages (from-to)1096-1105
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


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