- How a robot speaks to a user affects that user’s experience with the robot. When a robot calls a person by name, that individual is more likely to rate the robot as friendlier and behave in a more socially engaged way (e.g. pay closer attention and speak more to the robot).
- People tend to respond more positively to robots that appear more animated and that demonstrate emotional responses (e.g. appropriate facial expressions and animated verbal content) during an interaction.
- User personality traits and the “match” between user personality and robot style is another factor that might facilitate human-robot engagement.
- A match between user personality and robot “personality” (e.g., content of feedback and style of feedback) is associated with increased time spent with the robot.
- It’s important to acknowledge that users generally respond quite positively to robots across a wide range of design forms. This isn’t to say that all users (e.g., from different cultures and with different experience levels) react to robots in the exact same manner.
- Variability exists and has been documented in how people view and respond to robots.
- Users across the lifespan tend to be quite open to interactions with robots.
Children and young people tend to react positively to robots, readily engaging in play activities with them.
- Older adults and the elderly frequently report being willing to accept assistance from robots in a variety of tasks, including household activities and medication reminders.
- Additional experience and time interacting with robots seems to foster even more positive reactions.
- Even over short periods of time (e.g. weeks), users who repeatedly interact with a robot appear to become more comfortable and change their behaviour with the robot accordingly (e.g. increased physical closeness to the robot) to reflect their increasing comfort level.
Rabbitt, S. M., Kazdin, A. E., & Scassellati, B. (2015). Integrating socially assistive robotics into mental healthcare interventions: Applications and recommendations for expanded use. Clinical Psychology Review, 35, 35–46. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2014.07.001