Trust in Medical Human-Robot Interactions based on Kinesthetic Guidance

Bente Charlotte Weigelin, Mia Mathiesen, Christina Nielsen, Kerstin Fischer, Jacob Nielsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


In medical human-robot interactions, trust plays an important role since for patients there may be more at stake than during other kinds of encounters with robots. In the current study, we address issues of trust in the interaction with a prototype of a therapeutic robot, the Universal RoboTrainer, in which the therapist records patient-specific tasks for the patient by means of kinesthetic guidance of the patients arm, which is connected to the robot. We carried out a user study with twelve pairs of participants who collaborate on recording a training program on the robot. We examine a) the degree with which participants identify the situation as uncomfortable or distressing, b) participants' own strategies to mitigate that stress, c) the degree to which the robot is held responsible for the problems occurring and the amount of agency ascribed to it, and d) when usability issues arise, what effect these have on participants' trust. We find signs of distress mostly in contexts with usability issues, as well as many verbal and kinesthetic mitigation strategies intuitively employed by the participants. Recommendations for robots to increase users' trust in kinesthetic interactions include the timely production of verbal cues that continuously confirm that everything is alright as well as increased contingency in the presentation of strategies for recovering from usability issues arising.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 27th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN)
Publication date2018
ISBN (Print)978-1-5386-7981-4
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5386-7980-7, 978-1-5386-7979-1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventRO-MAN 2018 - IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication - Jiangsu Conference Center, Nanjing, China
Duration: 27. Aug 201831. Aug 2018


ConferenceRO-MAN 2018 - IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication
LocationJiangsu Conference Center
Internet address
SeriesIEEE RO-MAN proceedings

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