Transparency in HRI: Trust and Decision Making in the Face of Robot Errors

Birthe Nesset, David A. Robb, Jose Lopes, Helen Hastie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

30 Citations (Scopus)
110 Downloads (Pure)


Robots are rapidly gaining acceptance in recent times, where the general public, industry and researchers are starting to understand the utility of robots, for example for delivery to homes or in hospitals. However, it is key to understand how to instil the appropriate amount of trust in the user. One aspect of a trustworthy system is its ability to explain actions and be transparent, especially in the face of potentially serious errors. Here, we study the various aspects of transparency of interaction and its effect in a scenario where a robot is performing triage when a suspected Covid-19 patient arrives at a hospital. Our findings consolidate prior work showing a main effect of robot errors on trust, but also showing that this is dependent on the level of transparency. Furthermore, our findings indicate that high interaction transparency leads to participants making better informed decisions on their health based on their interaction. Such findings on transparency could inform interaction design and thus lead to greater adoption of robots in key areas, such as health and well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHRI '21 Companion
Subtitle of host publicationCompanion of the 2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781450382908
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2021
Event2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction - Virtual Conference, Boulder, United States
Duration: 8 Mar 202111 Mar 2021


Conference2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
Abbreviated titleHRI '21
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • Hospital triage
  • Robot errors
  • Social robotics
  • Transparency
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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