How socio-technical factors can undermine expectations of human-robot cooperation in hospitals

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review


This research analysed human–robot cooperation and interaction in the basement of a Danish hospital, where kitchen staff and porters conducted their daily routines in an environment shared with mobile service robots. The robots were installed to ease the everyday routines of kitchen staff and carry out physically demanding tasks, such as transporting heavy cargo between destinations in the hospital basement. The cooperation and interaction were studied through ethnographic inspired fieldwork and the results highlighted how robots affect the real-life environments into which they are gradually moving. The analysis revealed how the great human expectations of robots clashed with reality and identified three key elements that influence human–robot cooperation in hospitals: 1) environmental factors, 2) behavioural factors and 3) factors related to human reliance on robots. We emphasise the importance of considering socio-technical factors when deploying robots to cooperate with humans in hospital environments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContext Sensitive Health Informatics : The Role of Informatics in Global Pandemics
EditorsRomaric Marcilly, Linda Dusseljee-Peute, Craig E. Kuziemsky, Xinxin Zhu, Peter Elkin, Christian Nohr
Number of pages7
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)978-1-64368-230-3
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-64368-231-0
Publication statusPublished - 2021
SeriesStudies in Health Technology and Informatics


  • Socio-Technical factors
  • expectations of mobile robots in practice
  • hospital
  • human-robot cooperation

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