Human interaction with robots is not without its risks. Véronique Aubergé, a GETALP team researcher at the LIG, explains that "despite the fact robots are not human, we cannot help but experience our interactions with them as having human-like intentions." She adds that we have yet to fully evaluate how interactions with robots may impact our lives.
To further explore the dynamics of human-robot interactions, researchers and students in the Domus living lab are experimenting with Emox, an Awabot butler robot. The robot is learning to recognize voice commands to open curtains and windows or make coffee. When performing its tasks, the robot makes small sounds. "Research on human communication has demonstrated that these little sounds help forge relationships. However, we still have to evaluate and control the consequences of these relationships." says Véronique Aubergé. Emox is currently being tested with seniors who live alone in order to evaluate the companion's potential as an alternative to retirement homes.