This book presents a comprehensive overview of the human dimension of social robots by discussing both transnational features and national peculiarities. Addressing several issues that explore the human side of social robots, this book investigates what a social robot is and how we might come to think about social robots in the different areas of everyday life. Organized around three sections that deal with Perceptions and Attitudes to Social Robots, Human Interaction with Social Robots, and Social Robots in Everyday Life, it explores the idea that even if the challenges of robot technologies can be overcome from a technological perspective, the question remains as to what kind of machine we want to have and use in our daily lives.
Lessons learned from previous widely adopted technologies, such as smartphones, indicate that robot technologies could potentially be absorbed into the everyday lives of humans in such a way that it is the human that determines the human-machine interaction. In a similar way to how today’s information and communication technologies were initially designed for professional/industrial use, but were soon commercialized for the mass market and then personalized by humans in the course of daily practice, the use of social robots is now facing the same revolution of ‘domestication.’ In the context of this transformation, which involves the profound embedding of robots in everyday life, the ‘human’ aspect of social robots will play a major part. This book sheds new light on this highly topical issue, one of the central subjects that will be taught and studied at universities worldwide and that will be discussed widely, publicly and repeatedly in the near future.