Domestic Robots and the Dream of Automation: Understanding Human Interaction and Intervention

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Domestic robots such as vacuum cleaners or lawnmowers are becoming popular consumer products in private homes, but while current HCI research on domestic robots has highlighted for example personalisation, long-term effects, or design guidelines, little attention has been paid to automation. To address this, we conducted a qualitative study with 24 participants in private households using interviews, contextual technology tours, and robot deployment. Through thematic analysis we identified three themes related to 1) work routines and automation, 2) domestic robot automation and the physical environment, as well as 3) interaction and breakdown intervention. We present an empirical understanding of how task automation using domestic robots can be implemented in the home. Lastly, we discuss our findings in relation to existing literature and highlight three opportunities for improved task automation using domestic robots for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2021 - Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Number of pages13
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 20 Jan 2021


  • human-robot interaction
  • domestic robots
  • domestic robot automation
  • interventions to domestic robot breakdown

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