In English

Human-Drone Interaction: Drone as a companion? An explorative study between Sweden and Japan

Kari Karjalainen ; Anna Romell
Göteborg : Chalmers tekniska högskola, 2017. 115 s.
[Examensarbete på avancerad nivå]

New technologies have enabled the development of robots for use in many different areas. In the recent decades, research has focused on how to facilitate interaction between humans and robots, thus a field of human robot interaction (HRI) has arisen. A novel area of research is human drone interaction (HDI) which investigates how interaction between humans and drones can be expanded into more areas of use. One area that is of interest is that of having drones as companions. While the field of drones as companions is novel, robots as companions have been researched to some extent and thus can give valuable input to further research in the HDI area. The aim of this project was to gain a clearer picture of how the user responds to having a drone as a companion and their attitude towards it. In addition to that the aim is also to create a good discussion on what developers of drone companions should consider in order to design an as good as possible companion in the future.

This thesis investigates and elaborates on how people respond to having a drone as a companion and if drones can be used as companions instead of using them as tools. One aim was also to find out what kind of cultural differences there might be between Swedish and Japanese participants in the study that could influence design implications for future drone companions. In order to understand the participants backgrounds and preferences, questionnaires were created to gather opinions about different perceived roles, size, appearance, interactions and which preferred tasks a drone companion could have, response were collected from 24 participants in Sweden and 24 participants from Japan. The data retrieved from the questionnaires was used as a basis for the forthcoming workshops, these were done to further enhance the knowledge about which characteristics a future drone companion should have and this was done in accordance to four specific themes that also were discussed during the workshop. The workshops in Sweden were done with a total of 10 participants whereas the workshop in Japan had 9 participants.

The outcome from the workshops yielded different ideas on how to design drone companions which in turn was used in the user studies. A user study was conducted in Sweden with 16 participants who interacted with two different virtual drone designs in a virtual reality environment. The sessions contained different tasks that the drone would perform as instructed by the participants. Furthermore a user study was conducted in Japan, the same methodology was applied in the study as done in Sweden, however with drone designs derived from the Japanese questionnaires and workshop. The Japanese user study had 16 participants. The results show that both Swedish and Japanese participants would like to have a drone companion in a home setting. The most prominent social role that was preferred both by Japanese and Swedish participants were an assistant. The most preferred task was that the companion would bring items to the user for both Japanese and Swedish participants. Although there were many similarities, some features were different, such as emotions seemed to be more preferred in Sweden. The study yielded some interesting design implications for future studies about drone companions.

Nyckelord: Drone companion, HDI, Robotics, HRI, Culture differences, Sweden, Japan



Publikationen registrerades 2017-06-22. Den ändrades senast 2017-06-22

CPL ID: 250062

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