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Winning trust in the performance of a robot vacuum cleaner :

  • Camps, A.
Publication Date
Aug 19, 2011
TU Delft Repository
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Problem statement A robot vacuum cleaner (rvc) offers a solution to maintain clean floors while saving the time and effort of cleaning. This benefit is most fully enjoyed when users let it clean during the time they are away from home. However, this requires the user to trust the robot being capable of cleaning (managing) completely autonomous. Many current users stay nearby when their robot is cleaning, and do not fully experience its benefit. Trust in the cleaning performance is therefore important to enhance in future models. Since the West European market of rvc is growing rapidly, the targeted users are ‘potential buyers’ that are still new to the concept. Winning over trust therefore aims at the first stages of interaction, including the time prior to purchase. Interaction is often based on posters, face value and communication of product’s specifications. In addition, trust should be enhanced by further usage. Trust is influenced by many factors. The experience was therefore framed in four key factors that can have dominant role in eliciting trust experience: Predictability, Familiarity, Confidence and Power. Trust experience is thereby approached as a dynamic, abstract framework that can adopt different values for each key factor. The framework is used to analyse why the product experience has a relation to trust, distinguishing different stages of user-product interaction and different mediums for communicating the product. Goal The goal of this project is to redesign an interaction concept that enhances trust in its cleaning performance. The project analyzed and hypothesized what factors elicit an enhanced experience. For verification, a prototype and model of the concept were used to test the enhancement with potential users. Methodology An explorative study firstly evaluated trust in a literary review. As a second part of this study, a generative session was used to explore trust enhancing product effects, and formulate design criteria. During the early stages of further concept development, the design criteria are refined with feedback obtained in two (potential) user sessions. For evaluation, the concept was verified in a qualitative research, based on semi-structured interviews. The test presented the design proposal by means of printed full-color renderings, a model and a mock-up of an interactive interface on a smart phone. Concept: The Wingman The interaction concept split its focus into two parts: characteristics of the aesthetic design of the robot, and feedback provided on a remote interface. In figure I, the design proposal and the prototype are shown. Conclusions The experience of trust in the cleaning performance is found to be a dominant in the overall product experience, during the first stages of interaction. An experience can be dominantly influenced by factors in the aesthetic design and feedback, to elicit trust in performance. They are further discussed in this thesis.

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