Social Robots for People with Developmental Disabilities: A User Study on Design Features of a Graphical User Interface

by   Xiaodong Wu, et al.

Social robots, also known as service or assistant robots, have been developed to improve the quality of human life in recent years. The design of socially capable and intelligent robots can vary, depending on the target user groups. In this work, we assess the effect of social robots' roles, functions, and communication approaches in the context of a social agent providing service or entertainment to users with developmental disabilities. In this paper, we describe an exploratory study of interface design for a social robot that assists people suffering from developmental disabilities. We developed series of prototypes and tested one in a user study that included three residents with various function levels. This entire study had been recorded for the following qualitative data analysis. Results show that each design factor played a different role in delivering information and in increasing engagement. We also note that some of the fundamental design principles that would work for ordinary users did not apply to our target user group. We conclude that social robots could benefit our target users, and acknowledge that these robots were not suitable for certain scenarios based on the feedback from our users.


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