Reach Out at Your Library with Mobile Telepresence Robot Technology

GUTH, LuMarie and VANDER MEER, Patricia (2016) Reach Out at Your Library with Mobile Telepresence Robot Technology. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session 101 - Poster Sessions.

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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


Reach Out at Your Library with Mobile Telepresence Robot Technology

Students should become familiar with robots as they are likely to encounter them in their careers and librarians are exploring how this exciting technology can impact services and enhance access. Academic libraries are high-traffic and a safe setting for students to experience telepresence robot technology and brainstorm potential uses. In fall 2015 the WMU Communications and Social Robotics Lab approached the Library to form a partnership. Students were invited to learn how to drive the robot, and feedback data on human-robot interaction and suggestions for use were collected. WMU Librarians were early adopters in testing and collecting quantitative data on the uses and reactions to a telepresence "roving librarian." Additionally, a training study was conducted in which library employees were surveyed before and after training on their perceptions including their comfort level with the robot, utility of the robot in library and educational settings, and how difficult it would be to use the technology. There is sometimes a natural discomfort with human-robot communication and the adoption of technology at an early point in its life cycle. We will present our research in this area and discuss best practices in presenting robots to library communities.

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