The virtual environment with a Pepper on a road.

Our work got accepted to HRI19. We investigate the differences between the real life and VR with a focus on proxemic preferences, in combination with exploring the effects of visual familiarity and spatial sound within the VR experience. Take-away messages from this work:

  • People prefer closer interaction distances with a real, physical robot than with a virtual robot in VR.

  • The virtual robot was perceived as more discomforting than the real robot, which could result in the differences in proxemics.

  • The perception of the robot has to be evaluated before the interaction can be studied.

  • VR settings with different visual familiarities are consistent with each other in how they affect HRI proxemics and virtual robot perceptions, indicating the freedom to study HRI in various scenarios in VR.

  • The effect of spatial sound in VR drew a more complex picture and thus calls for more in-depth research to understand its influence on HRI in VR.

@inproceedings{li2019comparing, title={Comparing Human-Robot Proxemics between Virtual Reality and the Real World}, author={Li, Rui and van Almkerk, Marc and van Waveren, Sanne and Carter, Elizabeth and Leite, Iolanda}, booktitle={2019 14th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI)}, pages={431--439}, year={2019}, organization={IEEE} }