User Research for Robotic Mental Well-being Coaches

Project Aim:

The User Research for Robotic Mental Well-being Coaches Project aims to:

  1. propose cohesive and comprehensive guidelines for the design of robots as coaches to promote mental well-being;
  2. explore the expectations and perceptions of prospective users of robots;
  3. present qualitative analysis of discussions with prospective users and experienced coaches regarding the design of robot well-being coaches.

Studies Conducted:

A summary of studies with human participants (as of June 2023):

  1. Robots as Mental Well-being Coaches: Design and Ethical Recommendations [arXiv 2022]
  2. Participatory Design of a Robotic Mental Well-being Coach [IEEE RO-MAN 2021]
  3. Participant Perceptions of a Robotic Coach Conducting Positive Psychology Exercises: A Systematic Analysis [arXiv 2022]

Major Findings:

Major findings (as of June 2023):

  • - We present the results of a Thematic Analysis (TA) of data recorded from brief semi-structured interviews that were conducted with participants after the interaction sessions, as well as an analysis of statistical results demonstrating how participants' personalities may affect how they perceive the robot and its interactions
  • - After conducting a thematic analysis and a qualitative meta-analysis, we collated the data gathered into convergent and divergent themes, and we distilled from those results a set of design guidelines and ethical considerations. Our findings can inform researchers and roboticists on the key aspects to take into account when designing robotic mental well-being coaches
  • - This resulted in a rich set of data, which we transcribed and analysed using Thematic Analysis (TA). The developed themes regarding robot features, form, behaviours, robot-led well-being practices, and the advantages and disadvantages these could provide, were compiled and are discussed in detail. We present this data together with tabulated quotes from the participants and coaches, to pave the way towards designing robot coaches that can provide supportive interventions to improve the mental health and well-being of their users

Project Team:

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