Use of Virtual Reality for the Evaluation of Human-Robot Interaction Systems in Complex Scenarios

Research Paper

Human-robot interaction has gained a lot of attention in recent years, since the use of robots can complement and improve human capabilities. To make such interaction smooth, proper interaction approaches are needed.

Customarily these are tested in simplified scenarios and tame laboratory environment, since reproducing complex real use cases is oftendifficult.

Achieved results are then not representative of actual interaction in reality and do not scale to complex scenarios.

To overcome this issue, in this paper we consider the use of virtual reality as an alternative tool to assess HRI in those scenarios that are difficult to reproduce in reality. To this end, we compare the interaction experience for the same task, which is carried out in both virtual reality and real environment.

To assess user’s interaction in the two scenarios, we consider quantitative task related metrics, mental workload sustained, and subjective reporting.

Results show that virtual reality allows to reproduce a faithful interaction experience and, thus, can be used to reliably validate human-robot interaction approaches in complex scenarios.