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Human-Robot Interaction for Semi-Autonomous Assistive Robots: Empirical Studies and an Interaction Concept for Supporting Elderly People at Home
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, Human-Centered systems. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Människa-robotinteraktion för semi-autonoma robotar : Empiriska studier och ett interaktionskoncept för att stödja äldre i hemmiljö (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

The research addresses current shortcomings of autonomous service robots operating in domestic environments by considering the concept of a semi-autonomous robot that would be supported by human remote operators whenever the robot cannot handle a task autonomously. The main research objective was to investigate how to design the human-robot interaction for a robotic system to assist elderly people with physical tasks at home according to this conceptual idea. The research procedure followed the principles of human-centered design and is structured into four phases:

In the first phase, the context of use of the system to be designed was determined. A focus group study yielded characteristics and attitudes of several potential user groups. A survey determined the demands of elderly people and informal caregivers for services a semiautonomous assistive robot may provide. An ethnographic study investigated the living conditions of elderly people and determined technical challenges for robots operating in this type of environment. Another ethnographic study investigated the work environment in teleassistive service centers and determined the feasibility of extending their range of services to incorporate robotic teleassistance.

In the second phase, two studies were carried out to understand the interaction requirements. The first study determined common types of failure of current autonomous robots and required human interventions to resolve such failure states. The second study investigated how the human assistance could be provided considering a range of potential interaction devices.

In the third phase, a human-robot interaction concept with three user groups and dedicated user interfaces was designed. The concept and user interfaces were refined in an iterative process based on the results of evaluations with prospective users and received encouraging results for user satisfaction and user experience.

In the fourth and final phase the utility of two specific user interface features was investigated experimentally. The first experiment investigated the utility of providing remote operators with global 3D environment maps during robot navigation and identified beneficial usage scenarios. The second experiment investigated the utility of stereoscopic display for remote manipulation and robot navigation. Results suggested temporal advantages under stereoscopic display for one of three investigated task types and potential advantages for the other two.

Abstract [sv]

Forskningen behandlar problem med autonoma robotar som agerar i hemmiljö. Specifikt studeras konceptet semi-autonoma robotar, vilket innebär att robotarna stöds av mänskliga operatörer när de inte klarar uppgifter på egen hand. Syftet med forskningen är att undersöka design av människa-robotinteraktion för robotsystem som stöder äldres behov av hjälp med fysiska uppgifter i hemmiljö. Forskningen är användarcentrerad och har strukturerats i fyra faser:

I den första fasen undersöktes användarkontexten för systemet. I en fokusgruppsstudie utforskades karakteristika och attityder för flera potentiella användargrupper. Kraven på en semi-autonom robot för att assistera äldre och informella vårdgivare fastställdes. En enkätstudie undersökte levnadsvillkor hos äldre för att utforska tekniska utmaningar dessa omgivningar ställer på robotar. En etnografisk studie undersökte arbetskontexten på servicecenter för teleassistans och undersökte genomförbarhet i att utöka tjänsteutbudet till att även inkludera teleassisterade robotar.

I den andra fasen utfördes två studier för att få kunskap om interaktionskrav. Den första studien fastställde vanliga typer av fel som inträffar med nuvarande typer av autonoma robotar och de typer av mänsklig assistans som krävs för att hantera dessa fel. Den andra studien undersökte hur mänsklig assistans kan utformas givet en repertoar av potentiella interaktionsanordningar.

I den tredje fasen utformades ett interaktionskoncept för människa-robot interaktionen för tre användargrupper med dedicerade gränssnitt. Koncepten och användargränssnitten förfinades i en iterativ process baserat på resultat från utvärderingar med tänkta användare, och resulterade i uppmuntrande resultat vad gäller användarnas uppskattning och tillfredsställelse.

I den fjärde och sista fasen studerades nyttan hos två specifika gränssnitt experimentellt. Det första experimentet undersökte nyttan med att ge operatörer på distans globala 3D-kartor under robotnavigeringen och identifierade användarscenarier där detta kan utnyttjas. Det andra experimentet undersökte nyttan med en stereoskopisk display för att manipulera och navigera roboten på distans. Resultaten visar på temporala fördelar med stereoskopisk display för en av tre undersökta uppgiftstyper och potentiella fördelar för de andra två.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. , 65 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 620
Keyword [en]
Semi-autonomous assistive robots, human-robot interaction, user interface design, teleoperation, telemanipulation, elderly people, global environment maps, stereoscopy
Keyword [sv]
Semi-autonoma robotar, människa-robotinteraktion, gränssnittsdesign, distansstyrning, distansmanipulation, äldre, globala omgivningskartor, stereoskopisk
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105738DOI: 10.3384/diss.liu-105738ISBN: 978-91-7519-319-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-105738DiVA: diva2:710083
Public defence
2014-05-23, Visionen, building B, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-04-28 Created: 2014-04-04 Last updated: 2014-06-04Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Semi-Autonomous Teleoperated Learning In-Home Service Robots for Elderly Care: A Qualitative Study on Needs and Perceptions of Elderly People, Family Caregivers, and Professional Caregivers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Semi-Autonomous Teleoperated Learning In-Home Service Robots for Elderly Care: A Qualitative Study on Needs and Perceptions of Elderly People, Family Caregivers, and Professional Caregivers
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2010 (English)In: Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Robotics and Mechatronics, Varna, Bulgaria, October 1-6, 2010Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper reports the results of a user requirement study for a robotic system aiming to support independent living of the elderly. A concept is investigated where caregivers would teleoperate and teach a domestic service robot on tasks it currently cannot perform autonomously. Focus groups were carried out in three European countries with 59 participants. Results show a preference for emergency and household functions among elderly and caregivers. However, most professional caregivers stated to prefer personal contact to the assisted person and opposed the prospect of being a teleoperator. Some family caregivers welcomed teleoperation because it would free them from being bound to the elderly’s home; others showed reservations, mainly due to concerns of having even less time for themselves. Implications for the design of a robotic system are discussed.

Keyword
Service Robot, Teleoperation, Learning, Elderly, Caregiver, User Requirements
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-106189 (URN)
Conference
20th International Conference on Robotics and Mechatronics, Varna, Bulgaria, October 1-6
Available from: 2014-04-28 Created: 2014-04-28 Last updated: 2014-04-30Bibliographically approved
2. User-Centered Design of a Dynamic-Autonomy Remote Interaction Concept for Manipulation-Capable Robots to Assist Elderly People in the Home
Open this publication in new window or tab >>User-Centered Design of a Dynamic-Autonomy Remote Interaction Concept for Manipulation-Capable Robots to Assist Elderly People in the Home
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2012 (English)In: Journal of Human-robot interaction, ISSN 2163-0364, Vol. 1, no 1, 96-118 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, we describe the development of a human-robot interaction concept for service robots to assist elderly people in the home with physical tasks. Our approach is based on the insight that robots are not yet able to handle all tasks autonomously with sufficient reliability in the complex and heterogeneous environments of private homes. We therefore employ remote human operators to assist on tasks a robot cannot handle completely autonomously. Our development methodology was user-centric and iterative, with six user studies carried out at various stages involving a total of 241 participants. The concept is under implementation on the Care-O-bot 3 robotic platform. The main contributions of this article are (1) the results of a survey in form of a ranking of the demands of elderly people and informal caregivers for a range of 25 robot services, (2) the results of an ethnography investigating the suitability of emergency teleassistance and telemedical centers for incorporating robotic teleassistance, and (3) a user-validated human-robot interaction concept with three user roles and corresponding three user interfaces designed as a solution to the problem of engineering reliable service robots for home environments.

Keyword
Human-robot interaction, dynamic autonomy, semi-autonomous robots, teleoperation, elderly people, interaction design, user interfaces
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-106192 (URN)10.5898/JHRI.1.1.Mast (DOI)
Available from: 2014-04-28 Created: 2014-04-28 Last updated: 2014-09-11Bibliographically approved
3. Teleoperation of Domestic Service Robots: Effects of Global 3D Environment Maps in the User Interface on Operators’ Cognitive and Performance Metrics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teleoperation of Domestic Service Robots: Effects of Global 3D Environment Maps in the User Interface on Operators’ Cognitive and Performance Metrics
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2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the 5th International Conference, ICSR 2013, Bristol, UK, October 27-29, 2013 / [ed] Guido Herrmann, Martin J. Pearson, Alexander Lenz, Paul Bremner, Adam Spiers and Ute Leonards, Springer, 2013, 392-401 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper investigates the suitability of visualizing global 3D environment maps generated from RGB-D sensor data in teleoperation user interfaces for service robots. We carried out a controlled experiment involving 27 participants, four teleoperation tasks, and two types of novel global 3D mapping techniques. Results show substantial advantages of global 3D mapping over a control condition for three of the four tasks. Global 3D mapping in the user interface lead to reduced search times for objects and to fewer collisions. In most situations it also resulted in less operator workload, higher situation awareness, and higher accuracy of operators’ mental models of the remote environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2013
Series
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743 (print), 1611-3349 (online) ; Volume 8239
Keyword
global environment map, service robot, teleoperation, user interface.
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-106195 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-02675-6_39 (DOI)978-3-319-02674-9 (ISBN)978-3-319-02675-6 (ISBN)
Available from: 2014-04-28 Created: 2014-04-28 Last updated: 2014-04-30Bibliographically approved
4. Design of the Human-Robot Interaction for a Semi-Autonomous Service Robot to Assist Elderly People
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Design of the Human-Robot Interaction for a Semi-Autonomous Service Robot to Assist Elderly People
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2015 (English)In: AMBIENT ASSISTED LIVING, AAL 2014 / [ed] Reiner Wichert, Helmut Klausing, Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2015, 15-29 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Service robots could support elderly people’s activities of daily living and enable them to live in their own residences independently as long as possible. Current robot technology does not allow reliable fully autonomous operation of service robots with manipulation capabilities in the heterogeneous environments of private homes. We developed and evaluated a usage concept for semi-autonomous robot control as well as user interfaces for three user groups. Elderly people are provided with simple access to autonomous robot services through a handheld device. In case of problems with autonomous execution the robot contacts informal caregivers (e.g. relatives) who can support the robot using semi-autonomous teleoperation. To solve more complex problems, professional teleoperators are contacted who have extended remote access.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2015
Series
Advanced Technologies and Societal Change, ISSN 2191-6853 ; Part 1
Keyword
human-robot interaction, service robots, teleoperation, semi-autonomy, user interface design
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-106197 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-11866-6_2 (DOI)000358607600002 ()978-3-319-11865-9 (ISBN)978-3-319-11866-6 (ISBN)
Conference
AAL-Kongress 2014 Berlin, Germany, January 21-22, 2014
Available from: 2014-04-28 Created: 2014-04-28 Last updated: 2015-08-28Bibliographically approved
5. Entwurf der Mensch-Roboter-Interaktion für einen semiautonomen Serviceroboter zur Unterstützung älterer Menschen
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Entwurf der Mensch-Roboter-Interaktion für einen semiautonomen Serviceroboter zur Unterstützung älterer Menschen
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2014 (German)In: Proceedings of 7. AAL-Kongress 2014, Berlin, Germany, January, 2014Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Service robots could support elderly people’s activities of daily living and enable them to live in their own residences independently as long as possible. Current robot technology does not allow reliable fully autonomous operation of service robots with manipulation capabilities in the heterogeneous environments of private homes. We developed and evaluated a usage concept for semi-autonomous robot control as well as user interfaces for three user groups. Elderly people are provided with simple access to autonomous robot services through a handheld device. In case of problems with autonomous execution the robot contacts informal caregivers (e.g. relatives) who can support the robot using semiautonomous teleoperation. To solve more complex problems, professional teleoperators are contacted who have extended remote access.

Abstract [de]

Serviceroboter können ältere Menschen bei Aktivitäten des täglichen Lebens unterstützen und so ein längeres selbstständiges Leben in der eigenen Wohnung ermöglichen. Im heterogenen Umfeld einer Wohnung ist beim derzeitigen Stand der Robotertechnologie ein zuverlässiger autonomer Betrieb eines manipulierenden Serviceroboters nicht möglich. Es wurde ein Nutzungskonzept für die semiautonome Robotersteuerung sowie Benutzungsschnittstellen für drei Nutzergruppen entwickelt und empirisch untersucht. Ältere Menschen erhalten über ein Handgerät einfachen Zugang zu autonomen Roboterdiensten. Schlägt die autonome Steuerung fehl, kontaktiert der Serviceroboter private Teleoperatoren (z.B. Angehörige), die diesen semiautonom unterstützen können. Bei komplexeren Problemen werden professionelle Teleoperatoren kontaktiert, die zusätzliche Steuerungsmöglichkeiten haben.

National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-106199 (URN)
Conference
7. AAL-Kongress, 21-22 January, Berlin, Germany
Available from: 2014-04-28 Created: 2014-04-28 Last updated: 2014-04-30Bibliographically approved
6. Semi-Autonomous Domestic Service Robots: Evaluation of a User Interface for Remote Manipulation and Navigation With Focus on Effects of Stereoscopic Display
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Semi-Autonomous Domestic Service Robots: Evaluation of a User Interface for Remote Manipulation and Navigation With Focus on Effects of Stereoscopic Display
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2015 (English)In: International Journal of Social Robotics, ISSN 1875-4791, E-ISSN 1875-4805, Vol. 7, no 2, 183-202 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, we evaluate a novel type of user interface for remotely resolving challenging situations for service robots in domestic environments. Our focus is on potential advantages of stereoscopic display. The user interface is based on a control architecture that allows involvement of a remote human operator when the robot encounters a problem. It offers semi-autonomous remote manipulation and navigation with low-cost interaction devices, incorporates global 3D environment mapping, and follows an ecological visualization approach that integrates 2D laser data, 3D depth camera data, RGB data, a robot model, constantly updated global 2D and 3D environment maps, and indicators into a single 3D scene with user-adjustable viewpoints and optional viewpoint-based control. We carried out an experiment with 28 participants in a home-like environment investigating the utility of stereoscopic display for three types of task: defining the shape of an unknown or unrecognized object to be grasped, positioning the gripper for semi-autonomous reaching and grasping, and navigating the robot around obstacles. Participants were able to successfully complete all tasks and highly approved the user interface in both monoscopic and stereoscopic display modes. They were significantly faster under stereoscopic display in positioning the gripper. For the other two task types, there was a tendency for faster task completion in stereo mode that would need to be verified in further studies. We did not find significant differences in perceived workload between display types for any type of task. We conclude that stereoscopic display seems to be a useful optional display mode for this type of user interface but that its utility may vary depending on the task.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Netherlands, 2015
Keyword
Human-robot interaction, User interfaces, Semi-autonomy, Telemanipulation, Teleoperation
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-106200 (URN)10.1007/s12369-014-0266-7 (DOI)000351469700004 ()
Note

On the day of the defence date the status of this article was Manuscript.

Available from: 2014-04-28 Created: 2014-04-28 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
7. Teleoperating Assistive Robots: A Novel User Interface for Remote Manipulation and Navigation Relying on Semi-Autonomy and Global 3D Environment Mapping
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teleoperating Assistive Robots: A Novel User Interface for Remote Manipulation and Navigation Relying on Semi-Autonomy and Global 3D Environment Mapping
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2014 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Despite remarkable progress of service robotics in recent years, it seems that a fully autonomous robot which would be able to solve everyday household tasks in a safe and reliable manner is still unachievable. To overcome thisproblem, we present solution for a semi-autonomous robot where a remote human operator may take over the robot control from an autonomous system to quickly asses the situation and carry out subtasks which cannot be finishedautomatically. A key component of our solution is the user interface based on a mixed reality 3D environment and fused sensor data which provides a high level of situational and spatial awareness for teleoperation as well as for telemanipulation. The robot control is based on low-cost commodity hardware, optionally including a 3D mouse and stereoscopic display. The interface requires only a brief training and allows short task completion times even when operated by novice users. Its usefulness was verified in two controlled experiments.

Keyword
Service robot, elderly care, user interface, human-robot interaction
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-106201 (URN)
Available from: 2014-04-28 Created: 2014-04-28 Last updated: 2014-04-30Bibliographically approved
8. Towards Robust Personal Assistant Robots: Experience Gained in the SRS Project
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards Robust Personal Assistant Robots: Experience Gained in the SRS Project
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2012 (English)In: IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2012, IEEE , 2012, 1651-1657 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

SRS is a European research project for building robust personal assistant robots using ROS (Robotic Operating System) and Care-O-bot (COB) 3 as the initial demonstration platform. In this paper, experience gained while building the SRS system is presented. A main contribution of the paper is the SRS autonomous control framework. The framework is divided into two parts. First, it has an automatic task planner, which initialises actions on the symbolic level. The planner produces proactive robotic behaviours based on updated semantic knowledge. Second, it has an action executive for coordination actions at the level of sensing and actuation. The executive produces reactive behaviours in well-defined domains. The two parts are integrated by fuzzy logic based symbolic grounding. As a whole, they represent the framework for autonomous control. Based on the framework, several new components and user interfaces are integrated on top of COB's existing capabilities to enable robust fetch and carry in unstructured environments. The implementation strategy and results are discussed at the end of the paper.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2012
Series
International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, ISSN 2153-0858 ; 2012
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-106202 (URN)10.1109/IROS.2012.6385727 (DOI)978-1-4673-1737-5 (ISBN)
Conference
IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 7-12 October, Vilamoura, Portugal
Available from: 2014-04-28 Created: 2014-04-28 Last updated: 2014-04-30Bibliographically approved

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