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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