You trust robots more if you’re allowed to build them yourself, research indicates

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A new study by scientists at Penn State Universitys Media Effects Research Laboratory shows that allowing users to participate in the building and setting-up to new technologies induces them more receptive to cooperating with the robots. Basically if you let them build it, they will come back.

The study looked at 80 undergrads, and had them had participated in a robot assembly analyze. Each group was given a Kumotek KT-X Gladiator robot. One group watched a demo on how to install the robots battery, connect it to a computer, and set up its software. The other group was allowed to set up the robot themselves, working on the machine rather than simply watching a demonstration. After the robots were put in, the two groups “ve been given” 5 to 10 minutes to use them, and then asked to fill out a survey about their impressions towards the robots.

If youre a hands on learner research results wont surprise you 😛 TAGEND

The results of the study clearly demonstrated that robot users hold higher sense of self-agency when they set up a robot by themselves, which induced more positive evaluations to the robot and the interaction process. As with self-assembling furniture and self-designing products, building a robot also seem to have generated a positive I designed it myself repercussion. The perceived sense of ownership is a significant determinant, which in the absence of actual or legal ownership, could lead to an increase in valuation of the robot.

By setting up a robot and familiarizing oneself with the robots inner workings rather than simply interacting with a pre-assembled robot, people indeed get the feeling that the robot is mine, thereby cueing the own-ness heuristic( that which I own is good ), and leading to positive repercussions for evaluations of the quality of the robot as well as its interaction with users.

If you want users to connect to your robot, it turns out allowing them to construct it, or at the least define it up, is better than simply demonstrating people how it runs. The survey doesnt attempt to suggest how long the positive impacts last, entailing these methods may not be effective towards building long term goodwill towards a machine. Still, if youre in the process of constructing your own Skynet maybe take such studies to heart. People are much more likely to get on board with your robot overlord if you let them put some of the pieces together themselves.

H/ T Spectrum

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