Volume 17, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1572-0373
  • E-ISSN: 1572-0381
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We present results of a quasi-experimental study investigating how user preference might change after direct interaction with two different types of robot regarding morphology and affordances: a machine-like that interacts through touch, and a human-like that interacts verbally. The study was performed in an art exhibition setting, where visitors had the opportunity to interact with the robots voluntarily, and were asked to fill out questionnaires before and after the experience. Post interactions, visitors preferred to touch the machine-like “hard” robot despite initial stated preference for soft materials, preferred mutual contact despite initial preference of subject to initiate touch, and preferred communication with a robot that could touch rather than initial preference for a robot that could “see”. Overall, users showed a significant constant preference for the machine-like robot, reportedly feeling a stronger connection with it than with the human-like one as it met their expectations, and they found its movements more appealing. Social conditioning can render people reluctant to touch a robot with very human-like appearance, and set the expectations for interaction too high to meet. Our results, lastly, indicate that interaction with more than one type of social robot can affect the interaction experience for each of the robots.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): human-like; machine-like; preference; Social human-robot interaction; touch

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