The use of service robots to assist ageing people in their own homes has the potential to allow people to maintain their independence, increasing their health and quality of life. In many assistive applications, robots perform tasks on people’s behalf that they are unable or unwilling to monitor directly. It is important that users be given useful and appropriate information about task progress. People being assisted in homes and other realworld environments are likely be engaged in other activities while they wait for a service, so information should also be presented in an appropriate, nonintrusive manner. This paper presents a human-robot interaction experiment investigatingwhat type of feedback people prefer in verbal updates by a service robot about distributed assistive services. People found feedback about time until task completion more useful than feedback about events in task progress or no feedback. We also discuss future research directions that involve giving non-expert users more input into the task planning process when delays or failures occur that necessitate replanning or modifying goals.
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