Abstract: We present a human-centered designed social drone aiming to be used in a human crowd environment. Based on design studies and focus groups, we created a prototype of a social drone with a social shape, face and voice for human interaction. We used the prototype for a proxemic study, comparing the required distance from the drone humans could comfortably accept compared with what they would require for a nonsocial drone.
The social shaped design with greeting voice added decreased the acceptable distance markedly, as did present or previous pet ownership, and maleness. We also explored the proximity sphere around humans with a social shaped drone based on a validation study with variation of lateral distance and heights. Both lateral distance and the higher height of 1.8 m compared to the lower height of 1.2 m decreased the required comfortable distance as it approached.
One of the greatest challenges I faced during the experiment phase was making sure that I would try to set it up as easy as possible with as few instructions as possible. As there was some language barriers and culture difference it was a of grave importance for me to also learn some basic japanese.
Also, when it comes to tangible prototypes, weeks of work could be destroyed with a single crash with the drone (and of course that happened). But the depth of learning from different cultures and working ways made the effort all more than worthwhile.
This work was granted a stipen to support my visit to Takemura Lab in Osaka for 6 months. My main supervisor were Photchara Ratsamaee and Kiyoshi Kiyoakawa in Japan (Takemura Lab), along with Morten Fjeld and Mohammad Obaid from Chalmers University (T2i Lab). We presented the paper at Human Agent Interaction 2017 in Bielefeld, Germany. The paper was also mentioned in Germany's biggest IT magazine Heise.de.
Applications used: Sketch, Android Studio
Keywords: User Research, Interaction Design, Prototyping, Research, Social Drone, Human-Robot Interaction, Human-Drone Interaction
Time frame: 6 months, 2016
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