Exploring the User Needs and Experience of the University Guidance Robot
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During the orientation week, new students face different challenges that are hectic. International students are especially confused about the new education system and come across many difficulties to overcome these challenges. There are too many information, which can be overwhelming. Not only for internationals, but for Finnish students also face information management issues. Although there are tutors assigned to help and take care of them, the tutors are not available at all times. Thus, we decided to design an interactive university guidance robot that could help the students whenever needed with relevant information. Our aim was to understand the users’ expectations and design the guidance robot to provide relevant information. There were also latent user needs and these can vary according to different culture. Thus, we addressed the needs according to Finnish, Chinese and Indian culture and aim to design the robot according to the needs of the target users. In the second phase, we conducted trials with new students to understand the experience of the participants. Moreover, we tried find out what was the preferred tasks among the students. We used Pepper robot as the platform for guidance robot. According to our research, the new students found the robot useful and it successfully addressed the needs of the participants. Moreover, the university guidance robot evoked experiences like nurture, fellowship, natural/humanlike and playfulness. In this thesis, we report how we collected the users’ expectation, analyzed the data to gather design implications, implemented functionalities in the university guidance robot and performed trials.