Digital Theses Archive


Tesi etd-10052018-102656

Type of thesis
 Integration of physiological, psychological and sociological factors to evaluate technology's acceptability and improve HRI, through neuro bio-inspired models for robots.
Scientific disciplinary sector
INGEGNERIA - Biorobotics
relatore Prof. DARIO, PAOLO
  • Nessuna parola chiave trovata
Exam session start date
The aim of this PhD thesis is to develop and validate a novel approach in which physiological and psychological information will be integrated with standard methods of acceptability’s evaluation. The new method will demonstrate the correlation between physical responses and user’s attitudes towards robots and technology, improving Human Robot Interaction (HRI) with a real time analysis of user’s acceptability that leads a behavioral adaptation in robots, based on emotional and physio-psychological state of the user. User’s acceptability of technologies can be influenced not only by features of the technological solution used, but also by different factors regarding the user, such as his experience, his capability to approach with a new technology, sex, gender, psychological, cultural and social factors. A system that is not acceptable to users will simply not be used. To improve HRI and, indeed, users’ acceptability, it is fundamental to consider also robots’ social abilities and to provide them with empathic skills and capabilities that contribute to a more social inclusion into user’s lives. To be effective and accepted, a social robot should perceive, learn and recognise behavioural patterns of the human it is interacting with. Behavioural adaptation, cognitive architectures, non-verbal communication strategies and capability to establish empathy with the user are powerful instruments to get empathic interaction, and they will be considered for the final proposed architecture. Firstly, this PhD thesis will analyse acceptability topic lightening models and pros and contra of standard assessment methods. This will provide readers explanation about what acceptability is, why is so important considering this aspect since from the design phase of a technological solution, how it can be improved and which are the still weak points regarding this. Then, the possibility to assess acceptability through the analysis of human physiological response during HRI will be demonstrated. The research activity was conducted on the assessment of physiological parameters that could reflect the arousal of stress and anxiety in humans. As last step, to achieve an improvement in HRI, the social, emotional and empathic abilities of robots have been deeply studied and a neuro-behavioral architecture has been proposed with the future aim to be implemented and tested in social assistive robots. This model, integrating psychophysiological data tested in the experimental sessions conducted, will provide robots with social abilities that will help users to interact with technology in a more bio-inspired modality, favouring empathy establishment with the robotic agents and, indeed, improving user’s acceptability. Acceptability is then a key factor for the design and development of assistive technologies. Technologies in general should be able to manage different issues ranging from functionalities, usability challenges, security and privacy concerns, cost-benefit balancing, design, comfort to the development of robotic services tailored on users’ needs. In case a technology is compliant with all these specifications but it reveals to be not accepted by users, the whole mechanism should be reviewed because the technological solution would not be effectively used or, worst, neither bought. This would have a strong impact in terms of human resources, costs and time spent for the design and development. This PhD Thesis is an attempt to provide a contribute to improve this process, giving hints, suggestions and feasible solutions to evaluate acceptability in a more objective way. The missing of objectivity in acceptability&#39;s measurement could compromise the whole system evaluation. For this reason, this PhD thesis provides a list of suggestions on how approaching to acceptability’s evaluation using physiological response to stress and anxiety.<br>