Ben-Gurion University of the Negev researchers has begun to discover preferences in human-robot interactions and the need to personalize those encounters to fit both the human’s preferences and the designated task.
According to a new study published in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, the researchers tested user preferences when interacting with a robot on a joint movement task as a first step toward developing an interactive movement protocol to be used in rehabilitation.
Since many patients do not practice their physical therapy routines enough or at all at home, she is designing robot companions to encourage them to practice and track their progress. When the robotic arm was leading, it performed movements that were either sharp, like dribbling a ball, or smooth, like tracing a circle.
The person tends to imitate the movements of the robot. This is a very important aspect to consider, for example, when designing a robotic nurse who assists a surgeon in the operating room, Dr. Levy-Teed says.
You wouldn’t want a robotic nurse to make sharp “Robotic” movements that will affect the way the surgeon moves his or her hands during an operation.
The field of medicine is moving toward customized medicine for each patient, the field of robotics needs to customize the pattern of interaction differently for each user.
Thus, determining the elements in the interaction that make users more motivated to continue is important in designing future robots that will interact with humans on a daily basis, says Levy-Teed.
This study was a continuation of her research. Kashi completed her undergraduate degree in cognitive sciences at BGU, and is now embarking on her graduate studies in the lab.