Currently, hard, rigid materials are used in the fabrication of robots. While soft materials have been explored in fields like soft robotics and for silicone humanoid robots, the user experience of these materials has not been explored.
I explored 3D printing soft and hard materials for a household robot, based on the HELLO ROBO platform. I conducted a scenario-based study with 16 participants. The study consisted of a questionnaire, scenarios of use, and an interview to understand user's preferences and experience. The findings are presented with grounded theory and content analysis. A note was submitted to CHI'17.
I had the participants examine 3 different material robot parts that varied in hard and softness.
The user experience was analyzed with scenarios of use. The scenarios were household activities or situations. For example, the participant was given a situation to carry the robot. Another, had the participant hug the robot. Results from the study were analyzed qualitatively (using content analysis and grounded theory) and quantitatively. This research was submitted to CHI'17 (chi2017.acm.org).