The secret lives of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) at a Norwegian hospital
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionInternational Journal of Human-Computer Studies. 2021, 152, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhcs.2021.102627
This paper explores how robots that are not designed for being social can still act and be perceived as social and what form this social interaction takes. We look at Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) at a Norwegian hospital that interact with patients, nurses, caregivers and other machinery. These robots are primarily tasked with moving goods, and are programmed to be automated, e.g., taking hospital elevators by themselves. Although the robots are unanthropomorphized, our research shows a strong perception of autonomy of the AGVs, specifically in relation to how voices and appearances of robots can make the robots more acceptable through appearing more “alive.” They take part in an intricate domestication process as non-human actors relating to the human actors that also frequent the hospital corridors, making them part of the digitalization infrastructure at the hospital. We also suggest that there is a fourth dimension at work, which we term Social Domestication.