The Robot Management System: A Framework for Conducting Human-Robot Interaction Studies Through Crowdsourcing

Russell Toris, David Kent, Sonia Chernova


Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) is a rapidly expanding field of study that focuses on allowing non- roboticist users to naturally and effectively interact with robots. The importance of conducting extensive user studies has become a fundamental component of HRI research; however, due to the nature of robotics research, such studies often become expensive, time consuming, and limited to constrained demographics. In this work, we present the Robot Management System (RMS), a novel framework for bringing robotic experiments to the web. We present a detailed description of our open-source system and describe an initial trial of the RMS as a means of conducting user studies. Using a series of navigation and manipulation tasks with a PR2 robot, we compare three user study conditions: users that are co-present with the robot, users that are recruited to the university laboratory but control the robot from a different room, and remote web-based users. Our findings show little statistical differences between usability patterns across these groups, validating the use of web-based crowdsourcing techniques for certain types of HRI evaluations.


human-robot interaction, web robotics, user studies, remote users

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