Send to

Choose Destination
Appl Ergon. 2017 Nov;65:23-32. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2017.05.005. Epub 2017 Jun 6.

Controlling robots in the home: Factors that affect the performance of novice robot operators.

Author information

Dept. of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Electronic address:
Dept. of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.


For robots to successfully integrate into everyday life, it is important that they can be effectively controlled by laypeople. However, the task of manually controlling mobile robots can be challenging due to demanding cognitive and sensorimotor requirements. This research explores the effect that the built environment has on the manual control of domestic service robots. In this study, a virtual reality simulation of a domestic robot control scenario was developed. The performance of fifty novice users was evaluated, and their subjective experiences recorded through questionnaires. Through quantitative and qualitative analysis, it was found that untrained operators frequently perform poorly at navigation-based robot control tasks. The study found that passing through doorways accounted for the largest number of collisions, and was consistently identified as a very difficult operation to perform. These findings suggest that homes and other human-orientated settings present significant challenges to robot control.


Human-robot interaction; Man-machine interaction; User-centered design; Virtual reality

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center