This book chapter describes the implementation, testing, and evaluation of the first prototype of the "AIBOcom" system, which allows remote users to play an interactive game cooperatively each using a pet-like robot as a social mediator. An exploratory pilot study tested this remote communication system with 10 pairs of participants who were exposed to two experimental conditions characterised by two different modes of synchronisation between the two robots that each interacts locally with the participant. In one mode, the robots incrementally affected each other's behaviour, while in the other, the robots mirrored each other's behaviour. Instruments used in this study include questionnaires, video observations and log files for the game state. The authors used various techniques to measure engagement and synchronization such as quantitative (e.g. rate of occurrence and average values) as well as qualitative measurements. In an exploratory data analysis, these multiple sources of data reflecting participant performance and characteristics were analyzed. Significant correlations were found and presented between the participants as well as participants' preferences and overall acceptance of such communication media. Findings indicate that participants preferred the mirroring mode, and that in this pilot study, robot-assisted remote communication was considered desirable and acceptable to the participants. Furthermore, the existence of interaction variations among different demographic groups was found, while this chapter lists and interprets the most significant effects.
|Title of host publication||Handbook of Research on Technoself|
|Subtitle of host publication||Identity in a Technological Society|
|Number of pages||29|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2012|