Shane Romero and Saad Elbeleidy and Tom Williams


IEEE International Conference on Robot-Human Interactive Communication

Publication Year

Recent work on Socially Assistive Robotics in Therapy has revealed a dual-cycle model, with the vast majority of prior work on Socially Assistive Robotics narrowly focused on the human-robot interaction, termed the “inner cycle”. In contrast, little attention has been paid to the activities performed before and after the interaction, termed the “outer cycle”,in which authoring and evaluation also take place. Authoring and evaluation are activities that are key sources of invisible labor for Therapists who serve as Care Wizards (i.e., SAR teleoperators). In this work, we consider the outer cycle needs of Care Wizards in another key Socially Assistive Robotics domain, Special Education, with a careful eye toward the barriers to entry and invisible labor that may manifest in this domain, and how those barriers and invisible labor might be subverted and mitigated. Our interviews with six Care Wizards who teleoperate robots in Special Education contexts reveal new insights surrounding these stakeholders’ needs. Our key insights are that (1) support systems are necessary for SAR adoption; (2) currently invisible Care Wizard labor may be indirectly compensated; and (3) training must be personalized to specific Care Wizards.