Studying Robot Vacuums Using Online Retailer Reviews to Understand Human-Automation Interaction
Event Type
Technical Groups
Cognitive Engineering & Decision Making
TimeThursday, October 7th8:48am - 9:06am EDT
LocationGrand Salon V
DescriptionRobot vacuums are a type of every-day automation and may serve as a possible domain for studying human-automation interactions. Online reviews of four models of autonomous robot vacuums, representing different levels of price and automation, were collected from multiple retailers to understand user interactions and issues encountered. Using a thematic analysis, reviews were categorized into three themes: prior experience with robot vacuums, navigation, and mapping, and troubleshooting issues. The results suggested that new users were more satisfied with their robots than experienced users. Furthermore, price and brand name may influence users' mental models of their vacuums. Owners of more expensive vacuums appeared less willing to change their behavior to accommodate the vacuum’s limitations. These findings suggest that robot vacuums may be a useful gateway domain for understanding everyday-users' interactions with automation, and that online reviews are a potential source of information on user experiences.