A human factors analysis of the Stretch mobile manipulator robot
Event Type
Technical Groups
Usability and System Evaluation
TimeWednesday, October 6th11:37am - 12:00pm EDT
DescriptionAssistive and mobile robots have potential to support everyday domestic tasks and enable independence for persons in the home. As a first step to evaluating this potential, we assessed the initial unboxing and setup of Hello Robot’s Stretch RE1– a novel mobile manipulator designed for domestic settings. All study procedures took place in the McKechnie Family LIFE Home, which is a smart home research facility on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. We used subject matter experts (SMEs) and followed human factors principles to consider obstacles users with diverse needs and capabilities (e.g., older adults, persons with mobility disabilities) might encounter during the unboxing process. We then conducted 50 trials of user testing and critical task analyses in the LIFE home to assess the feasibility and usability for different use cases. Research team members controlled Stretch by using a game controller. We used Stretch to manipulate 15 different types of objects that would be part of domestic activities needed to live independently, such as tasks needed for meal preparation. We documented the frequency of errors, time spent manipulating the object, and informal qualitative feedback from teleoperators during and after each trial (using a think-aloud protocol). Implications for future domestic robot design using human factors approaches are discussed.