Virtual-reality as a Simulation Tool for Non-humanoid Social Robots.
Evaluating the interaction between people and non-humanoid robots requires advanced physical prototyping, and in many cases is limited to lab setting with Wizard-of-Oz control. Virtual Reality (VR) was suggested as a simulation tool, allowing for fast, flexible and iterative design processes. In this controlled study, we evaluated whether VR is a valid platform for testing social interaction between people and non-humanoid robots. Our quantitative findings indicate that social interpretations associated with two types of gestures of a robotic object are similar in virtual and physical interactions with the robot, suggesting that the core aspects of social interaction with non-humanoid robots are preserved in a VR simulation.
The impact of this work to the CHI community is in indicating the potential of VR as a platform for initial evaluation of social experiences with non-humanoid robots, including interaction studies that involve different facets of the social experience.

In collaboration with the Advanced Reality Lab (School of Communication, IDC)