Alexandra Bejarano and Saad Elbeleidy and Terran Mott and Sebastian Negrete-Alamillo and Luis Angel Armenta and Tom Williams


IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication

Publication Year

Wizard-of-Oz (WoZ) is one of the most widely used experimental methodologies across the field of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), making WoZ teleoperation interfaces a critical tool for HRI research. Yet current WoZ teleoperation interfaces are overwhelmingly tailored towards a narrow set of HRI interaction paradigms. In this work, we conducted a set of interviews with HRI researchers to better understand the diversity of teleoperation needs across the HRI community. Our analysis highlighted (1) human challenges, with respect to wizards' expertise, the need for quick responses, and research participants' unpredictability; (2) robot challenges, with respect to robot malfunctions, delays, and robot-driven complexity, and (3) interaction challenges, with respect to researchers' varying control requirements and the need for precise experimental control. Moreover, our results revealed unexpected parallels between the experiences of HRI researchers and real-world teleoperators, which open up fundamentally new possibilities for future work in robot control interfaces and encourage radically different perspectives on what types of interfaces are even needed to best facilitate WoZ experimentation. Leveraging these insights, we recommend that WoZ interfaces (1) be designed with extensibility and customization in mind, (2) ease interaction management by accounting for unpredictability and multi-robot interactions, and (3) consider WoZ teleoperators beyond the context of experimentation.