As competition among automated delivery services intensifies, robot manufacturers think it is vitally important to win over pedestrians and local officials as they try to expand the emerging technology into communities and ease potential regulations.
Robotic technology is still imperfect, and some robots have ended up stuck as they try to navigate public spaces, having to rely on assistance from sympathetic humans in the area.
Some companies, such as Starship, have even staged stuck robots in public, and then hid nearby to see if anyone helped. The Starship researchers found people helped the robots more often when they emitted audible signals for help.
Following the experiment, the researchers gave the robot a human-sounding voice, which says phrases such as, "Hello, here's your delivery," though it does not call for help.
From The Wall Street Journal
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA
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