Should a Robot Guide Like a Human? A Qualitative Four-Phase Study of a Shopping Mall Robot

Päivi Heikkilä (Corresponding author), Hanna Lammi, Marketta Niemelä, Kathleen Belhassein, Guillaume Sarthou, Antti Tammela, Aurélie Clodic, Rachid Alami

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Providing guidance to customers in a shopping mall is a suitable task for a social service robot. To be useful for customers, the guidance needs to be intuitive and effective. We conducted a four-phase qualitative study to explore what kind of guidance customers need in a shopping mall, which characteristics make human guidance intuitive and effective there, and what aspects of the guidance should be applied to a social robot. We first interviewed staff working at the information booth of a shopping mall and videotaped demonstrated guidance situations. In a human-human guidance study, ten students conducted seven way-finding tasks each to ask guidance from a human guide. We replicated the study setup to study guidance situations with a social service robot with eight students and four tasks. The robot was controlled using Wizard of Oz technique. The characteristics that make human guidance intuitive and effective, such as estimation of the distance to the destination, appropriate use of landmarks and pointing gestures, appear to have the same impact when a humanoid robot gives the guidance. Based on the results, we identified nine design implications for a social guidance robot in a shopping mall.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSocial Robotics - 11th International Conference, ICSR 2019, Proceedings
    EditorsMiguel A. Salichs, Shuzhi Sam Ge, Emilia Ivanova Barakova, John-John Cabibihan, Alan R. Wagner, Álvaro Castro-González, Hongsheng He
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-35888-4
    ISBN (Print)978-3-030-35887-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
    Event11th International Conference on Social Robotics, ICSR 2019 - Madrid, Spain
    Duration: 26 Nov 201929 Nov 2019
    Conference number: 11

    Publication series

    SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science


    Conference11th International Conference on Social Robotics, ICSR 2019
    Abbreviated titleICSR 2019


    • Shopping mall robot
    • Robot guidance
    • Design implications
    • Multi-phased study
    • Social robots


    Dive into the research topics of 'Should a Robot Guide Like a Human? A Qualitative Four-Phase Study of a Shopping Mall Robot'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this