User study with HOAP-3

Usability study conducted in collaboration with ICT&S, University of Salzburg.

"Hi my name is Hoap, I can learn to do a lot of things, just show me a task card and I will be happy to learn how to do it". Imagine you are working at an assembly line in a big fabrication plant. A new robot is introduced, which should support you in solving tasks. You would teach the robot specific motions by demonstrating them and the robot will repeat the learnt motion. Are the learning abilities of already developed humanoid robots intuitive enough that novice users can handle them? This video shows some insightful and funny situations from a user study conducted in August 2008 in collaboration of the ICT&S Center (University of Salzburg) and the LASA EPFL Lausanne in the framework of the FP6 project ROBOT@CWE: Advanced robotic systems in future collaborative working environments. In this user study twelve participants had to conduct two "learning by demonstration tasks" with the Hoap-3 robot. The study was split into two tasks: Teaching the robot to close a box and teaching the robot to push a box. The interaction with the robot was based on speech commands. Participants just had to follow the commands of the robot and answer to it with yes or no (or any other answer proposed by the robot). The main interest for the user study was to observe how novice users experience the collaboration with the robot and if their general attitude towards robotics change because of the interaction with Hoap-3. Thus, the user study started with two questionnaires on participants' general attitude towards robots, which the participants had to fill in before they even saw the robot. Afterwards participants conducted the two tasks with the robot. After performing each task participants were asked to state their thoughts and feelings about the interaction with Hoap-3 and on suggestions for improvements to make the interaction more natural and intuitive in the future (retrospective think aloud). All participants could complete the two tasks successfully and mostly to their personal satisfaction. One participant even stated: "It is a congenial robot, obedient, ready to learn, likes to talk and likes feedback".

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