Part of the book: Robot Arms
The chapter presents the analysis of user trials where, for the first time, a service robot was set free in the home of users. Different to previous studies there was no pre-specified schedule of tasks to execute. The goal was to show that useful functionalities for users can also be achieved with the low-cost components of the Hobbit robot. With the one-arm mobile service robot Hobbit we provided users with a service robot running basic robot functionalities such as navigation, grasping objects from the floor, emergency handling, entertainment, fitness and communication functions. Users could freely select what to do over the three-week trials in homes in three European countries. Users have been questioned on what functionality would help them to stay longer at home and live independently. Results provide better insights of what users want than in pre-set scenarios, where many of the factors we encountered do not show up. Good examples are the need to have robots navigate autonomously at home, grasping objects from the floor is a highly valued function, and the robot needs to adapt locations depending on the daily liking of the users who move much more freely at home than in pre-set scenarios.
Part of the book: Service Robots