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Journal of Interactive Media

Editor-in-Chief: Ziegler, Jürgen

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Volume 16, Issue 2


On the Attempt to Implement Social Addressability within a Robotic System

Philipp Graf
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  • 26524 Technische Universität Berlin, FG Regelungssysteme, Einsteinufer 17, Berlin, Germany, 10587
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/ Manuela Marquardt / Diego Compagna
Published Online: 2017-08-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/icom-2017-0009


We conducted a Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) study during a science event, using a mixed method experimental approach with quantitative and qualitative data (adapted version of Godspeed Questionnaire and audio-visual material analysed videographically). The main purpose of the research was to gather insight into the relevance of the so-called “point of interaction” for a successful and user-friendly interaction with a non-anthropomorphic robot. We elaborate on this concept with reference to sociological theories under the heading of “addressability” and “social address” and generate hypotheses informed by former research and theoretical reflections. We implement an interface on our robot system, comprising two LEDs, which indicate the status of the robot/interaction, and which might possibly serve as basal form of embodied social address. In one experimental condition, the movements were accompanied by a light choreography, the other one was conducted without the LEDs. Our findings suggest a potential relevance of social address for the interaction partner to receive additional information, especially if the situation is a contingent one. Nevertheless, the overall rating on the Godspeed scales showed no significant differences between the light conditions. Several possible reasons for this are discussed. Limitations and advantages are pointed out in the conclusion.

Keywords: Human-Robot Interaction; Point of Interaction; Anthropomorphisation; Social Robots; Social Robotics; Videography; Social Addressability; Social Address


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About the article

Philipp Graf

Philipp Graf is a Master student in Technology Studies and works as part of the junior research group on human-robot interaction at the Technical University Berlin. His research interests focus on social theory (especially network theory and social systems theory), mixed-method approaches for the evaluation of human-robot interactions and the qualitative evaluation of robotic design. Further research interests focus on network analysis and network visualisation as well as in new religious movements.

Manuela Marquardt

Manuela Marquardt is a Master student in Sociology and worked as part of the junior research group on human-robot interaction at the Technical University Berlin. Her HRI research focused on the mixed-method empirical investigation of human-robot interactions in the context of public science events and the application of sociological theory to robot-related research. As part of her theoretical work, she engaged with the phenomenon of anthropomorphisation. Further research interests focus on mobility, quantitative empirical research and sequence analysis of social science data.

Diego Compagna

Diego Compagna is a senior research fellow (post-doctorate) in the Control Systems Group, part of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Technical University Berlin. His research interests in the field of Science and Technology Studies focus on the area of theory-building, sociological actor-models, methodology for the evaluation of human-robot encounters as well as interaction and the politics of innovation strategies for special target groups.

Published Online: 2017-08-10

Published in Print: 2017-08-28

Citation Information: i-com, Volume 16, Issue 2, Pages 71–85, ISSN (Online) 2196-6826, ISSN (Print) 1618-162X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/icom-2017-0009.

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