Pennsylvania State University (PSU) researchers have found that people express more positive feelings toward a robot that takes care of them than toward a robot that needs care.
"How the robot is presented to users can send important signals to users about its helpfulness and intelligence, which can have consequences for how it is received by end users," says PSU professor S. Shyam Sundar.
The researchers observed 60 interactions between college students and a social robot called Nao. The participants either helped Nao calibrate its eyes, or the robot could examine the participants' eyes and make suggestions to improve their vision. The participants then answered questions about their feelings toward Nao.
The researchers found that when "(humans) perceive greater benefit from the robot, they are more satisfied in their relationship with it, and even trust it more," Sundar says.
In the future, the researchers hope to confirm these experimental results in real-life situations where caretaker robots are already working.
From Penn State Live
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