These are the conclusions of a study by engineer Kerstin Dautenhahn, who last year decided to take robots out of the laboratory to observe how they interacted with humans. “After years of investigating human-robot interactions with hundreds of participants, we have paid attention to proxemics – part of non-verbal communication that studies the use of space – an area that has never been studied before,” says Dautenhahn. As the researcher concludes, in the future it would be more interesting if instead of manufacturing a robot and then finding an application for it, “future users were involved from the beginning.”
Dautenhahn is also the creator of a childlike robot called Kaspar that has been designed to teach social skills to children with autism problems.
University of Hertfordshire (http://perseus.herts.ac.uk/index.html)