Doctoral Consortium of the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Socially assistive robots (SARs) receive significant research attention due to their positive impact across many contexts. For example, studies have shown that autistic children are receptive to SARs in therapy, and achieve similar learning outcomes compared to human-delivered therapy. Given the sensitive nature of therapy and the current state of autonomous robots, however, SARs are in practice teleoperated by a therapist who controls their motion and dialogue. This presents an opportunity to produce more effective SAR teleoperation interfaces in the context of therapy for autistic children. In this paper, I outline research for improving teleoperation interfaces of SARs through (1) analyzing current teleoperation usage, (2) interviewing teleoperators about their needs, and (3) implementing and evaluating varied designs for teleoperation interfaces.