Journal of Physical Agents

Domestic applications for social robots: an online survey on the influence of appearance and capabilities

Manja Lohse, Frank Hegel, Britta Wrede



Can you imagine a useful task you would like a social robot to perform for you? This paper presents an Internet survey where participants were asked this question to identify applications for social robots. The applications mentioned by the participants are based on the appearance of four social robots (AIBO, iCat, BIRON, and BARTHOC) and the information they received about their basic capabilities. It was found that AIBO and iCat seem to be suitable for domestic applications whereas suggested applications for the more functional mobile robot BIRON are situated also in public environments. The anthropomorphic robot BARTHOC mainly seems to be appropriate for public usage. The paper tries to explain how the appearance and the capabilities of the robot influence what applications are ascribed to them. Moreover, it is shown what role domestic robots play in the field of social robotics and how they relate to public robots.


Robot applications; Domestic robots