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Bianca Soto


Publications by Bianca Soto (bibliography)

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Pantofaru, Caroline, Takayama, Leila, Foote, Tully and Soto, Bianca (2012): Exploring the role of robots in home organization. In: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction 2012. pp. 327-334. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2157689.2157805

Technologists have long wanted to put robots in the home, making robots truly personal and present in every aspect of our lives. It has not been clear, however, exactly what these robots should do in the home. The difficulty of tasking robots with home chores comes not only from the significant technical challenges, but also from the strong emotions and expectations people have about their home lives. In this paper, we explore one possible set of tasks a robot could perform, home organization and storage tasks. Using the technique of need finding, we interviewed a group of people regarding the reality of organization in their home; the successes, failures, family dynamics and practicalities surrounding organization. These interviews are abstracted into a set of frameworks and design implications for home robotics, which we contribute to the community as inspiration and hypotheses for future robot prototypes to test.

© All rights reserved Pantofaru et al. and/or their publisher

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Takayama, Leila, Pantofaru, Caroline, Robson, David, Soto, Bianca and Barry, Michael (2012): Making technology homey: finding sources of satisfaction and meaning in home automation. In: Proceedings of the 2012 International Conference on Uniquitous Computing 2012. pp. 511-520. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2370216.2370292

Home and automation are not natural partners -- one homey and the other cold. Most current automation in the home is packaged in the form of appliances. To better understand the current reality and possible future of living with other types of domestic technology, we went out into the field to conduct need finding interviews among people who have already introduced automation into their homes and kept it there -- home automators. We present the lessons learned from these home automators as frameworks and implications for the values that domestic technology should support. In particular, we focus on the satisfaction and meaning that the home automators derived from their projects, especially in connecting to their homes (rather than simply controlling their homes). These results point the way toward other technologies designed for our everyday lives at home.

© All rights reserved Takayama et al. and/or ACM Press

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Paepcke, Andreas, Soto, Bianca, Takayama, Leila, Koenig, Frank and Gassend, Blaise (2011): Yelling in the hall: using sidetone to address a problem with mobile remote presence systems. In: Proceedings of the 2011 ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology 2011. pp. 107-116. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2047196.2047209

In our field deployments of mobile remote presence (MRP) systems in offices, we observed that remote operators of MRPs often unintentionally spoke too loudly. This disrupted their local co-workers, who happened to be within earshot of the MRP system. To address this issue, we prototyped and empirically evaluated the effect of sidetone to help operators self regulate their speaking loudness. Sidetone is the intentional, attenuated feedback of speakers' voices to their ears while they are using a telecommunication device. In a 3-level (no sidetone vs. low sidetone vs. high sidetone) within-participants pair of experiments, people interacted with a confederate through an MRP system. The first experiment involved MRP operators using headsets with boom microphones (N=20). The second experiment involved MRP operators using loudspeakers and desktop microphones (N=14). While we detected the effects of the sidetone manipulation in our audio-visual context, the effect was attenuated in comparison to earlier audio-only studies. We hypothesize that the strong visual component of our MRP system interferes with the sidetone effect. We also found that engaging in more social tasks (e.g., a getting-to-know-you activity) and more intellectually demanding tasks (e.g., a creativity exercise) influenced how loudly people spoke. This suggests that testing such sidetone effects in the typical read-aloud setting is insufficient for generalizing to more interactive, communication tasks. We conclude that MRP application support must reach beyond the time honored audio-only technologies to solve the problem of excessive speaker loudness.

© All rights reserved Paepcke et al. and/or ACM Press

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