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Article
Publication date: 26 August 2021

Gaby Odekerken-Schröder, Kars Mennens, Mark Steins and Dominik Mahr

Recent service studies suggest focusing on the service triad consisting of technology-customer-frontline employee (FLE). This study empirically investigates the role of…

Abstract

Purpose

Recent service studies suggest focusing on the service triad consisting of technology-customer-frontline employee (FLE). This study empirically investigates the role of service robots in this service triad, with the aim to understand the augmentation or substitution role of service robots in driving utilitarian and hedonic value and ultimately customer repatronage.

Design/methodology/approach

In study 1, field data are collected from customers (n = 108) who interacted with a service robot and FLE in a fast casual dining restaurant. Structural equation modeling (SEM) is used to test hypotheses about the impact of service robots' anthropomorphism, social presence, value perceptions and augmentation opportunities in the service triad. In study 2, empirical data from a scenario-based experimental design (n = 361) complement the field study by further scrutinizing the interplay between the service robot and FLEs within the service triad.

Findings

The study provides three important contributions. First, the authors provide empirical evidence for the interplay between different actors in the “customer-FLE-technology” service triad resulting in customer repatronage. Second, the empirical findings advance the service management literature by unraveling the relationship between anthropomorphism and social presence and their effect on perceived value in the service triad. And third, the study identifies utilitarian value of service robots as a driver of customer repatronage in fast casual dining restaurants.

Practical implications

The results help service managers, service robot engineers and designers, and policy makers to better understand the implications of anthropomorphism, and how the utilitarian value of service robots can offer the potential for augmentation or substitution roles in the service triad.

Originality/value

Building on existing conceptual and laboratory studies on service robots, this is one of the first field studies on the service triad consisting of service robots – customers – frontline employees. The empirical study on service triads provides evidence for the potential of FLEs to augment service robots that exhibit lower levels of functional performance to achieve customer repatronage. FLEs can do this by demonstrating a high willingness to help and having excellent interactions with customers. This finding advocates the joint service delivery by FLE – service robot teams in situations where service robot technology is not fully optimized.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 May 2020

Galen R. Collins

Service robotics, a branch of robotics that entails the development of robots able to assist humans in their environment, is of growing interest in the hospitality…

Abstract

Purpose

Service robotics, a branch of robotics that entails the development of robots able to assist humans in their environment, is of growing interest in the hospitality industry. Designing effective autonomous service robots, however, requires an understanding of HumanRobot Interaction (HRI), a relatively young discipline dedicated to understanding, designing, and evaluating robotic systems for use by or with humans. HRI has not yet received sufficient attention in hospitality robotic design, much like Human–Computer Interaction (HCI) in property management system design in the 1980s. This article proposes a set of introductory HRI guidelines with implementation standards for autonomous hospitality service robots.

Design/methodology/approach

A set of key user-centered HRI guidelines for hospitality service robots were extracted from 52 research articles. These are organized into service performance categories to provide more context for their application in hospitality settings.

Findings

Based on an extensive literature review, this article presents some HRI guidelines that may drive higher levels of acceptance of service robots in customer-facing situations. Deriving meaningful HRI guidelines requires an understanding of how customers evaluate service interactions with humans in hospitality settings and to what degree those will differ with service robots.

Originality/value

Robots are challenging assumptions on how hospitality businesses operate. They are being increasingly deployed by hotels and restaurants to boost productivity and maintain service levels. Effective HRI guidelines incorporate user requirements and expectations in the design specifications. Compilation of such information for designers of hospitality service robots will offer a clearer roadmap for them to follow.

Details

International Hospitality Review, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2516-8142

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 23 July 2019

Michelle M.E. van Pinxteren, Ruud W.H. Wetzels, Jessica Rüger, Mark Pluymaekers and Martin Wetzels

Service robots can offer benefits to consumers (e.g. convenience, flexibility, availability, efficiency) and service providers (e.g. cost savings), but a lack of trust…

Abstract

Purpose

Service robots can offer benefits to consumers (e.g. convenience, flexibility, availability, efficiency) and service providers (e.g. cost savings), but a lack of trust hinders consumer adoption. To enhance trust, firms add human-like features to robots; yet, anthropomorphism theory is ambiguous about their appropriate implementation. This study therefore aims to investigate what is more effective for fostering trust: appearance features that are more human-like or social functioning features that are more human-like.

Design/methodology/approach

In an experimental field study, a humanoid service robot displayed gaze cues in the form of changing eye colour in one condition and static eye colour in the other. Thus, the robot was more human-like in its social functioning in one condition (displaying gaze cues, but not in the way that humans do) and more human-like in its appearance in the other (static eye colour, but no gaze cues). Self-reported data from 114 participants revealing their perceptions of trust, anthropomorphism, interaction comfort, enjoyment and intention to use were analysed using partial least squares path modelling.

Findings

Interaction comfort moderates the effect of gaze cues on anthropomorphism, insofar as gaze cues increase anthropomorphism when comfort is low and decrease it when comfort is high. Anthropomorphism drives trust, intention to use and enjoyment.

Research limitations/implications

To extend humanrobot interaction literature, the findings provide novel theoretical understanding of anthropomorphism directed towards humanoid robots.

Practical implications

By investigating which features influence trust, this study gives managers insights into reasons for selecting or optimizing humanoid robots for service interactions.

Originality/value

This study examines the difference between appearance and social functioning features as drivers of anthropomorphism and trust, which can benefit research on self-service technology adoption.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Xiangyu Liu, Ping Zhang, Guanglong Du, Ziping He and Guohao Chen

The purpose of this paper is to provide a novel training-responding controlling approach for humanrobot interaction. The approach is inspired by the processes of muscle…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a novel training-responding controlling approach for humanrobot interaction. The approach is inspired by the processes of muscle memory and conditioned reflex. The approach is significant for dealing with the problems of robot’s redundant movements and operator’s fatigue in humanrobot interaction system.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presented a directional double clustering algorithm (DDCA) to achieve the training process. The DDCA ensured that the initial clustering centers uniformly distributed in every desired cluster. A minimal resource allocation network was used to construct a memory responding algorithm (MRA). When the humanrobot interaction system needed to carry out a task for more than one time, the desired movements of the robot were given by the MRA without repeated training. Experimentally demonstrated results showed the proposed training-responding controlling approach could successfully accomplish humanrobot interaction tasks.

Findings

The training-responding controlling approach improved the robustness and reliability of the humanrobot interaction system, which presented a novel controlling method for the operator.

Practical implications

This approach has significant commercial applications, as a means of controlling for humanrobot interaction could serve to point to the desired target and arrive at the appointed positions in industrial and household environment.

Originality/value

This work presented a novel training-responding human-robot controlling method. The human-robot controlling method dealt with the problems of robot’s redundant movements and operator’s fatigue. To the authors’ knowledge, the working processes of muscle memory and conditioned reflex have not been reported to apply to human-robot controlling.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 30 November 2005

Jutta Weber

In recent developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and especially in robotics we can observe a tendency towards building intelligent artefacts that are meant to be…

Abstract

In recent developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and especially in robotics we can observe a tendency towards building intelligent artefacts that are meant to be social, to have ‘human social’ characteristics like emotions, the ability to conduct dialogue, to learn, to develop personality, character traits, and social competencies. Care, entertainment, pet and educational robots are conceptualised as friendly, understanding partners and credible assistants which communicate ‘naturally’ with users, show emotions and support them in everyday life. Social robots are often designed to interact physically, affectively and socially with humans in order to learn from them. To achieve this goal, roboticists often model the humanrobot interaction on early caregiver‐infant interactions. In this paper I want to analyse prominent visions of these ‘socio‐emotional’ machines as well as early prototypes and commercial products with regard to the human‐machine interface. By means of this I will ask how feminist critiques of technology could be applied to the field of social robotics in which concepts like sociality or emotion are crucial elements while, at the same time, these concepts play an important role in feminist critiques of technology.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 21 June 2021

Magnus Söderlund

This study aims to examine humans’ reactions to service robots’ display of warmth in robot-to-robot interactions – a setting in which humans’ impressions of a service robot

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine humans’ reactions to service robots’ display of warmth in robot-to-robot interactions – a setting in which humans’ impressions of a service robot will not only be based on what this robot does in relation to humans, but also on what it does to other robots.

Design/methodology/approach

Service robot display of warmth was manipulated in an experimental setting in such a way that a service robot A expressed low versus high levels of warmth in relation to another service robot B.

Findings

The results indicate that a high level of warmth expressed by robot A vis-à-vis robot B boosted humans’ overall evaluations of A, and that this influence was mediated by the perceived humanness and the perceived happiness of A.

Originality/value

Numerous studies have examined humans’ reactions when they interact with a service robot or other synthetic agents that provide service. Future service encounters, however, will comprise also multi-robot systems, which means that there will be many opportunities for humans to be exposed to robot-to-robot interactions. Yet, this setting has hitherto rarely been examined in the service literature.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 35 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2021

Jing Wen Jia, Namho Chung and Jooyoung Hwang

The main purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of service robots on hotel visitors' behaviour and to verify the role of anthropomorphism(human likeness) in…

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of service robots on hotel visitors' behaviour and to verify the role of anthropomorphism(human likeness) in customer satisfaction with robots.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey of 381 respondents was conducted, divided into three types of robots according to the level of anthropomorphism. The research model was thoroughly tested using the PLS-SEM method. Research model was tested thoroughly using the PLS-SEM method.

Findings

This study found that user satisfaction with service robots in a hotel had a positive impact on user satisfaction, attitude towards the hotel and room purchase intention. Moreover, our results showed that users were most likely to accept medium-human likeness robots and least likely to accept high–human likeness robots.

Originality/value

This study proposes influencing factors to be considered when researching hotel service robots, as well as practical suggestions for any hotel intending to use or currently using a service robot.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 121 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Hooman Samani

The purpose of this paper is to propose a novel method for evaluation of human-robot affection. The model is inspired by the scientific methods of human-human love…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a novel method for evaluation of human-robot affection. The model is inspired by the scientific methods of human-human love evaluation. This paper would benefit the researchers in the field of developing new technologies where emotional interaction is involved.

Design/methodology/approach

Among the two available options of Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and user study, the latter is adopted and the conventional method of Love Attitude Scale is transformed for human-robot interaction as Lovotics (love + robotics) Love Attitude Scale. A user study is conducted to evaluate the emotional effect of interaction with the robot.

Findings

The proposed method is employed in order to evaluate the performance of Lovotics robot. In total, 20 users experienced interaction with Lovotics robot and answered questionnaires which were designed based on the psychology of love, especially to measure love scales between the participants and the robot. Data from the user study are analyzed statistically to evaluate the overall performance of the designed robot.

Research limitations/implications

Various aspects including human to robot love styles, robot to human love styles, overall love values and gender study are investigated during the data analysis. The concept of human-robot affection is still in initial stage of development. Personal and social robots are increasing and much limitation from artificial intelligence, mechanical development and integration still exist.

Practical implications

This is a multidisciplinary research field utilizing fundamentals concepts from robotics, artificial intelligence, philosophy, psychology, biology, anthropology, neuroscience, social science, computer science and engineering.

Social implications

Considering the recent technical advancement in robotics which is brining robots closer to home, this paper aims to bridge the gap between human and robot affection measurement. The final goal is to introduce robots to the society which are useful and can be especially used to take care of those in need such as elderly.

Originality/value

This paper is one of the first kind to get inspired from scientific human love evaluation methods and apply that to human-robot application.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 45 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2019

Bo Zhang, Guanglong Du, Wenming Shen and Fang Li

The purpose of this paper is the research of a novel gesture-based dual-robot collaborative interaction interface, which achieves the gesture recognition when both hands…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is the research of a novel gesture-based dual-robot collaborative interaction interface, which achieves the gesture recognition when both hands overlap. This paper designs a hybrid-sensor gesture recognition platform to detect the both-hand data for dual-robot control.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses a combination of Leap Motion and PrimeSense in the vertical direction, which detects both-hand data in real time. When there is occlusion between hands, each hand is detected by one of the sensors, and a quaternion-based algorithm is used to realize the conversion of two sensors corresponding to different coordinate systems. When there is no occlusion, the data are fused by a self-adaptive weight fusion algorithm. Then the collision detection algorithm is used to detect the collision between robots to ensure safety. Finally, the data are transmitted to the dual robots.

Findings

This interface is implemented on a dual-robot system consisting of two 6-DOF robots. The dual-robot cooperative experiment indicates that the proposed interface is feasible and effective, and it takes less time to operate and has higher interaction efficiency.

Originality/value

A novel gesture-based dual-robot collaborative interface is proposed. It overcomes the problem of gesture occlusion in two-hand interaction with low computational complexity and low equipment cost. The proposed interface can perform a long-term stable tracking of the two-hand gestures even if there is occlusion between the hands. Meanwhile, it reduces the number of hand reset to reduce the operation time. The proposed interface achieves a natural and safe interaction between the human and the dual robot.

Details

Industrial Robot: the international journal of robotics research and application, vol. 46 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1999

D.M. Wilkes, A. Alford, M.E. Cambron, T.E. Rogers, R.A. Peters and K. Kawamura

For the past ten years, the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory (IRL) at Vanderbilt University has been developing service robots that interact naturally, closely and safely…

Abstract

For the past ten years, the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory (IRL) at Vanderbilt University has been developing service robots that interact naturally, closely and safely with human beings. Two main issues for research have arisen from this prior work. The first is how to achieve a high level of interaction between the human and robot. The result has been the philosophy of human directed local autonomy (HuDL), a guiding principle for research, design, and implementation of service robots. The humanrobot relationship we seek to achieve is symbiotic in the sense that both the human and the robot work together to achieve goals, for example as aids to the elderly or disabled. The second issue is the general problem of system integration, with a specific focus on integrating humans into the service robotic system. This issue has led to the development of the Intelligent Machine Architecture (IMA), a novel software architecture specifically designed to simplify the integration of the many diverse algorithms, sensors, and actuators necessary for intelligent interactive service robots.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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