The Role of Robotic Telepresence in the Academic Library

The Role of Robotic Telepresence in the Academic Library

Emy Nelson Decker (Atlanta University Center, Robert W. Woodruff Library, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch653
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As social beings, humans need to engage with each other. Computer mediation of this engagement will often be successful, provided that key sociological requirements are met. Today’s emerging telepresence technologies like VGo are based upon this fundamental human need to communicate and connect, and these technologies attempt to bridge the physical gaps created by time and space to simulate closer human contact. Even in a heavily technology-based world, humans still desire person-to-person contact (Moody & Wieland, 2010). Today’s telepresence technologies follow ideas gleaned from sociology such as the need for giving and receiving non-verbal cues, for gaining trust as well as an understanding of power dynamics, and for feeling connected to another individual without being distracted by the workings of the telepresence technology itself.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Telepresence: Technologies that allow the user to see, hear, and speak to another individual from a remote location, virtually replicating presence.

Anthropomorphism: Ascribing human-like traits and qualities to an object in order to make relating to the object easier.

Uncanny Valley: Theory of the way in which robots can cause an unsettling feeling in humans when the robot falls short for passing as human (McDaniel, 2013).

Emerging Technologies: New technologies, or new uses of existing technologies, that will impact the library environment in regards to teaching, learning, research, or student creativity.

Human-Machine Interface: The point of interaction between a machine (computer or robot) and a human and the way the two function together.

Affordance: The way that a technology works and the understanding of what it can and cannot allow the user to do (Willcockson & Phelps, 2010).

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