Robot Code of Conduct
Sep 2021 - ongoing
Robots are leaving labs and cages behind being deployed in flexible environments where they need to communicate and coexist with other entities (humans, animals, other robots, etcetera).
Moving past the notion of tools to be used, they are becoming partners to collaborate with. However, we lack a common ground understanding with these automated machines. Unsure of how they perceive and react to our shared environment, robot behaviors should be carefully designed for users to understand and trust these systems. I explored how to achieve that by improving explainability, predictability, and expectations. I carried out this project with Lely, a multinational manufacturer of automated solutions for dairy farming.
This thesis aimed to provide tools for the company developers to design robotic systems with pleasant and adequate behaviors cohesive throughout their portfolio.
A highly participatory process was carried out involving the experience, expertise, and viewpoint of more than 40 multidisciplinary stakeholders through interviews, workshops, and user tests. The knowledge was converged into the design of guidelines that provide intermediate-level knowledge on HRI for Lely developers.
This living document is a merge concept-wise between the employee Code of Conduct (focused on behavior) and the Red Rules (product-oriented guidelines). It has its unique approach while strengthening the brand identity, raising awareness of HRI, and constituting a framework to support the first steps into its implementation at Lely.
The Lely Robot Code of Conduct consists of four parts:
- Code foundation: Alike other Codes of Conduct, it defines a purpose, future vision, target audience, and their responsibilities to comply with it and sustain the code.
- Robot Nature: Compilation of the five Lely robot values narrated by a Lely robot and illustrated with examples depicting situations shaped as fables.
- Design guidelines: Guide to map the factors influencing user interactions with the robots. This section contains recommendations and examples to translate HRI considerations into solutions being truthful to the robots’ nature.
- Practical guide: The last part of the code introduces this richness of artificial expressions and their potential to alter users’ behaviors, and it defines how Lely products communicate.