First eye tracking study provides interesting insights

With wearable eye tracker and outdoor cameras, the latest study by the Human Factors department at Ulm University investigated what test persons pay attention to and how they behave when they encounter autonomous robots in public spaces.

How passers-by behave when they encounter autonomous robots in public spaces raises a number of questions. Where do they look and how long do they look at the robots? What reactions do they show and how do they interact with the robots? In the latest study – conducted by Ulm University under the direction of Zhe Zeng-, exciting insights and answers were gained as part of the first eye-tracking experiment.

Eye movement behaviour is recorded for study

The eye tracking study was carried out on November 14th, 16th and 17th 2023 in the Bahnhofspassage in Ulm. 29 test persons took part in the study, for which cleaning robots from ADLATUS Robotics GmbH was used. The study participants were equipped with eye-tracking glasses that recorded their eye movement behaviour, while additional external cameras recorded the encounter between the test person and the robot as well as their behaviour. By recording eye movements, the psychological and cognitive processing underlying the interaction with the robots can be researched and better understood.

The results of the study will be published in the course of the project and represent the starting point for further studies on the (gaze)-behaviour of people when encountering autonomous robots in public spaces. They contribute to the iterative improvement of the interaction concept of autonomous robots.