IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2019 - 45

Building Trust
in Social Robotics
A Pilot Survey
Laura Leondina Campanozzi, Eugenio Guglielmelli,
Eleonora Cella, Giampaolo Ghilardi, Mirta Michelli,
Massimo Ciccozzi, and Vittoradolfo Tambone

I

WIKIMEDIA/Z22

n 2004, leading researchers in the robotics field wrote, "As computer technology
grows more pervasive, trust is also likely
to become a critical factor in consumer
products, such as home automation, personal robots, and automotive automation.
Designing trustable technology may be a
critical factor in the success of the next generation
of automation and computer technology" [[1], p. 76].
Consistent with this view, the global market of robotics is growing significantly worldwide. In 2014, the Boston Consulting Group projected that it would reach
US$67 billion by 2025, an estimate that has been
recently updated to US$87 billion as investments in the
robotic field have tripled within a short space of time,
from 2014 to 2015 [2].
Although industry remains the main customer of
robotic technologies - especially the automotive and
the electrical/electronic sectors - consumer service
robotics is also clearly catching on [3]. Interestingly the
market is asking for efficient service robots first for professional use (logistic systems, medical and field
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MTS.2019.2948440
Date of current version: 2 December 2019

DECEMBER 2019

∕

robots), but there is also an increased demand for personal and domestic applications [4].
These trends suggest that a new era of robotics is
taking its place within the broader framework of the
Fourth Industrial Revolution and its specular Industry
program, also known as Industry 4.0 [5]-[6]. Specifically, this new phase foresees a robotic shift from industry to society with the growing introduction of robots
among us [7]. Robots 4.0, or social robots, are being
designed with enhanced senses, dexterity, and intelligence to engage a closer human-robot interaction, and
to support or even replace people in a growing number
of services, in entertainment, and in daily settings [8].
Given this scenario, for close human-robot interaction and its impact on society to work effectively, a
strong trust in the robotics market will be needed. This
will promote proactive acceptance and adaptation by
institutions, society, and individuals [8]. Indeed, while
future social robotics seem to be promising to young
human generations, they also raise major challenges,
more so than industrial robotics, that should be overcome before their use can become real [7].
As recent reports have shown [9]-[11], advances in
robotics and Artificial Intelligence are posing concerns
that overshadow enthusiasm about their development,

IEEE TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY MAGAZINE

0278-0097/19©2019IEEE

45



IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2019

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