The receptionist job, consisting in providing useful indications to visitors in a public office, is one possible employment of social robots. The design and the behaviour of robots expected to be integrated in human societies are crucial issues, and they are dependent on the culture and society in which the robot should be deployed. We study the factors that could be used in the design of a receptionist robot in Brazil, a country with a mix of races and considerable gaps in economic and educational level. This inequality results in the presence of functional illiterate people, unable to use reading, writing and numeracy skills. We invited Brazilian people, including a group of functionally illiterate subjects, to interact with two types of receptionists differing in physical appearance (agent v mechanical robot) and in the sound of the voice (human like v mechanical). Results gathered during the interactions point out a preference for the agent, for the human-like voice and a more intense reaction to stimuli by illiterates. These results provide useful indications that should be considered when designing a receptionist robot, as well as insights on the effect of illiteracy in the interaction.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
 T. Fong, I. Nourbakhsh, and K. Dautenhahn, A survey of socially interactive robots, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 42, 3-4 (2003) 143-166
 D. Feil-Seifer and M. J. Mataric, Defining socially assistive robotics, in 9th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (2005) 465-468.
 R. Gockley, A. Bruce, J. Forlizzi, M. Michalowski, A. Mundell, S. Rosenthal, B. Sellner, R. Simmons, K. Snipes, A. Schultz, and J. Wang, Designing robots for long-term social interaction, in 2005 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots (2005) 1338-1343.
 The Big Picture: This hotel is staffed by robots. IEEE Spectrum, 52, 10 (2015) 18-19
 T. Hashimoto, S. Hitramatsu, T. Tsuji, and H. Kobayashi, Development of the Face Robot SAYA for Rich Facial Expressions, in SICE-ICASE 2006 International Joint Conference (2006) 5423-5428.
 T. Ando, A. Araki, M. Kanoh, Y. Tomoto, and T. Nakamura, Relationship Between Mechadroid Type C3 and Human Beings Based on Physiognomic Features, Journal of Advanced Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Informatics, 14, 7 (2010) 869-876
 IBGE, Censo Demográfico 2010: Características da Populaçăo e dos Domicílios - Resultados do Universo. IBGE, Rio de Janeiro. ISSN / ISBN: 01043145 (in Portuguese), 2010
 IBGE, Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicilios: Sintese de indiadores: 2012. IBGE, Rio de Janeiro.
 UNESCO, Education for All; Literacy for life. The EFA Global Monitoring Report 2006, UNESCO Publishing 6:158.
 A. Cree, A. Kay, and J. Steward, The Economic and Social Cost of Illiteracy; A Snapshot of Illiteracy in a Global Context. Grandville, MI: World Literacy Foundation, 2012.
 P. Flandorfer, Population Ageing and Socially Assistive Robots for Elderly Persons: The Importance of Sociodemographic Factors for User Acceptance, International Journal of Population Research (2012) p. e829835
 S. Reppou and G. Karagiannis, Social Inclusion with Robots: A RAPP Case Study Using NAO for Technology Illiterate Elderly at Ormylia Foundation, in Progress in Automation, Robotics and Measuring Techniques, R. Szewczyk, C. Zieliński, and M. Kaliczyńska (Ed.) Springer International Publishing, 2015, 233-241.
 C. F. DiSalvo, F. Gemperle, J. Forlizzi, and S. Kiesler, All Robots Are Not Created Equal: The Design and Perception of Humanoid Robot Heads, in Proceedings of the 4th Conference on Designing Interactive Systems: Processes, Practices, Methods, and Techniques, New York, NY, USA (2002) 321-326.
 W. A. Bainbridge, J. W. Hart, E. S. Kim, and B. Scassellati, The Benefits of Interactions with Physically Present Robots over Video-Displayed Agents, Int J of Soc Robotics, 3, 1, (2011) 41-52
 J. Li, The benefit of being physically present: A survey of experimental works comparing copresent robots, telepresent robots and virtual agents, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 77 (2015) 23-37
 T. Minato, M. Shimada, H. Ishiguro, and S. Itakura, Development of an Android Robot for Studying Human-Robot Interaction, in 17th International Conference on Industrial and Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems (2004) 424-434
 M. L.Walters, D. S. Syrdal, K. Dautenhahn, R. te Boekhorst, and K. L. Koay, Avoiding the uncanny valley: robot appearance, personality and consistency of behavior in an attention-seeking homescenario for a robot companion, Auton Robot, 24, 2 (2008) 159-178
 F. Hegel, M. Lohse, and B. Wrede, Effects of visual appearance on the attribution of applications in social robotics, in The 18th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (2009) 64-71.
 F. Kaplan, Who is afraid of the humanoid? Investigating cultural differences in the acceptance of robots, International Journal of Humanoid Robotics, 1, 3 (2004) 465-480
 M. L. Walters, D. S. Syrdal, K. L. Koay, K. Dautenhahn, and R. teBoekhorst, Human approach distances to a mechanicallooking robot with different robot voice styles, in The 17th IEEE International Symposiumon Robot and Human Interactive Communication (2008) 707-712.
 A. P. Saygin, T. Chaminade, H. Ishiguro, J. Driver, and C. Frith, The thing that should not be: predictive coding and the uncanny valley in perceiving human and humanoid robot actions, Soc- Cogn Affect Neurosci, 7, 4 (2012) 413-422
 F. Eyssel, D. Kuchenbrandt, S. Bobinger, L. de Ruiter, and F. Hegel, ‘If You Sound Like Me, You Must Be More Human’: On the Interplay of Robot and User Features on Human-robot Acceptance and Anthropomorphism, in Proceedings of the Seventh Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, New York, NY, USA (2012) 125-126
 A. Niculescu, B.van Dijk, A. Nijholt, S.L. See, The influence of voice pitch on the evaluation of a social robot receptionist. International Conference on User Science and Engineering (i- USEr). IEEE (2011) 18-23
 M. Scheutz and P. Schermerhorn, Affective Goal and Task Selection for Social Robots, in Handbook of Research on Synthetic Emotions and Sociable Robotics: New Applications in Affective Computing and Artificial Intelligence, Jordi Vallverdú and D. Casacuberta (Ed.) IGI Global, 2009
 Northwest Territories Department of Municipal and Community Affairs, Job Description Receptionist, 2005.
 G. Trovato, M. Zecca, S. Sessa, L. Jamone, J. Ham, K. Hashimoto, and A. Takanishi, Cross-cultural study on human-robot greeting interaction: acceptance and discomfort by Egyptians and Japanese, Paladyn. International Journal of Behavioral Robotics, 4, 2 (2013) 83-93
 P. Holthaus and K. Pitsch, How Can I Help? - Spatial Attention Strategies for a Receptionist Robot., I. J. Social Robotics, 3 (2011) 383-393
 M. Salem, M. Ziadee, and M. Sakr, Marhaba, How May I Help You?: Effects of Politeness and Culture on Robot Acceptance and Anthropomorphization, in Proceedings of the 2014 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-robot Interaction, New York, NY, USA, (2014) 74-81
 B. T. T. Chee, A. H. Y. Wong, D. K. Limbu, A. H. J. Tay, Y. K. Tan, and T. Park, UnderstandingCommunication Patterns for Designing Robot Receptionist, in Social Robotics, S. S. Ge, H. Li, J.-J. Cabibihan, and Y. K. Tan, Eds. Springer Berlin Heidelberg (2010) 345-354.
 D. Ribeiro, The Brazilian People: The Formation and Meaning of Brazil. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2000.
 M.Makatchev, R. Simmons, M. Sakr, and M. Ziadee, Expressing Ethnicity through Behaviors of a Robot Character, in Proceedings of the 8th ACM/IEEE international conference on Humanrobot interaction (2013) 357-364.
 J. M. DeMartino, L. PiniMagalhăes, and F. Violaro, Facial animation based on context-dependent visemes, Computers & Graphics, 30, 6 (2006) 971-980
 Ministry of Labor; RAIS - Annual Report of Social Information (in Portuguese)
 L. Yin, T. Bickmore, D. Byron, and D. Cortes, Cultural and linguistic adaptation of relational agents for health counseling, in Workshop on Interactive Systems in Healthcare, 2010.
 C. Nass, K. .Isbister, and E.-J. Lee, Embodied Conversational Agents, Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press (2000) 374-402.
 N. Endo and A. Takanishi, Development of Whole-Body Emotional Expression Humanoid Robot for ADL-Assistive RT Services, Journal of Robotics and Mechatronics, 23, 6 (2011) 969-977
 F. Eyssel and F. Hegel, (S)he’s Got the Look: Gender Stereotyping of Robots1, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 42, 9 (2012) 2213-2230
 G. Metta, P. Fitzpatrick, and L. Natale, YARP: Yet Another Robot Platform, International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems, 2006
 F. Eyssel and D. Kuchenbrandt, Social categorization of social robots: Anthropomorphism as a function of robot group membership, British Journal of Social Psychology, 51, 4 (2012) 724-731
 D. Harman, Illiteracy: An Overview, Harvard Educ Rev,May 1970
 C. Bartneck, D. Kulić, E. Croft, and S. Zoghbi, Measurement Instruments for the Anthropomorphism, Animacy, Likeability, Perceived Intelligence, and Perceived Safety of Robots, Int J of Soc Robotics, 1, 1 (2009) 71-81
 S. Freud, Das Unheimliche (The Uncanny). Europäischer Literaturverlag, 2013
 W. H. Kruskal and W. A. Wallis, Use of Ranks in One-Criterion Variance Analysis, Journal of the American Statistical Association, 47, 260 (1952) 583-621, 1952.
 H. B. Mann and D. R. Whitney, On a Test of Whether one of Two Random Variables is Stochastically Larger than the Other, Ann. Math. Statist., 18, 1 (1947) 50-60
 E. Broadbent, V. Kumar, X. Li, J. Sollers 3rd, R. Q. Stafford, B. A. MacDonald, and D. M. Wegner, Robots with Display Screens: A Robot with a More Humanlike Face Display Is Perceived To Have More Mind and a Better Personality, PLoS ONE, 8, 8 (2013) p. e72589
 P. Saulnier, E. Sharlin, and S. Greenberg, Exploring interruption in HRI usingWizard of Oz, in the 5th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (2010) 125-126
 L. A. Carlson, C. Hölscher, T. F. Shipley, and R. C. Dalton, Getting Lost in Buildings, Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19, 5 (2010) 284-289
Paladyn. Journal of Behavioral Robotics is a fully peer-reviewed, open access journal that publishes original, high-quality research works and review articles on topics broadly related to neuronally and psychologically inspired robots and other behaving autonomous systems. The journal is indexed in SCOPUS.