Social robots not only work with humans in collaborative workspaces – we meet them in shopping malls and even more personal settings like health and care. Does this imply they should become more human, able to interpret and adequately respond to human emotions? Do we want them to help elderly people? Do we want them to support us when we are old ourselves? Do we want them to just clean and keep things orderly – or would we accept them helping us to go to the toilet, or even feed us if we suffer from Parkinson’s disease?
The answers to these questions differ from person to person. They depend on cultural background, personal experiences – but probably most of all on the robot in question. This book covers the phenomenon of social robots from the historic roots to today’s best practices and future perspectives. To achieve this, we used a hands-on, interdisciplinary approach, incorporating findings from computer scientists, engineers, designers, psychologists, doctors, nurses, historians and many more. The book also covers a vast spectrum of applications, from collaborative industrial work over education to sales. Especially for developments with a high societal impact like robots in health and care settings, the authors discuss not only technology, design and usage but also ethical aspects.
Thus this book creates both a compendium and a guideline, helping to navigate the design space for future developments in social robotics.