Saad Elbeleidy and Terran Mott and Dan Liu and Tom Williams


IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication

Publication Year

Socially Assistive Robots (SARs) have shown promise, but there are still practical challenges to their widespread adoption. Recent research has demonstrated the advantages of teleoperated systems in this space and called for better guidelines for teleoperation interfaces. We ran group usability tests with therapists with no experience with robots to learn more about the challenges they face. We found that robot-novice therapists understand how robots can be effective in therapy. However, learning to use a robot interface can be challenging for new users. These challenges include the unfamiliar metaphors used for robot connection and the need to create, acquire, or share robot interaction content. We also identify users' needs that are perhaps non-obvious in a research context, such as privacy of client health information and professional boundaries with client families when using electronic tools. We make several recommendations based on analysis of our group usability tests: (1) developing dedicated interfaces for content authoring that account for caregiver technical expertise, (2) implementing content organization and sharing tools, (3) using connection metaphors that non-technical users may be more familiar with such as phone calls or web URLs, (4) considering user privacy in connection methods chosen, especially within telehealth. Most importantly, we encourage further research in SAR teleoperation that focuses on caregivers as teleoperators.