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"I can't get round": Recruiting Assistance in Mobile Robotic Telepresence

Boudouraki, Andriana; Fischer, Joel E.; Reeves, Stuart; Rintel, Sean


Andriana Boudouraki

Professor of Human-Computer Interaction

Sean Rintel


Via audiovisual communications and a controllable physical embodiment, Mobile Robotic telePresence (MRP) systems aim to support enhanced collaboration between remote and local members of a given setting. But MRP systems also put the remote user in positions where they frequently rely on the help of local partners. Getting or 'recruiting' such help can be done with various verbal and embodied actions ranging in explicitness. In this paper, we look at how such recruitment occurs in video data drawn from an experiment where pairs of participants (one local, one remote) performed a timed searching task. We find a prevalence of implicit recruitment methods and outline obstacles to effective recruitment that emerge due to communicative asymmetries that are built into MRP design. In a future where remote work becomes widespread, assistance through remote work technology like MRPs needs close examination at a fundamental interactional level, taking into account how communicative asymmetries are at play in everyday use of such technologies.


Boudouraki, A., Fischer, J. E., Reeves, S., & Rintel, S. (2021). "I can't get round": Recruiting Assistance in Mobile Robotic Telepresence. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 4(CSCW3), Article 248.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 31, 2020
Online Publication Date Jan 5, 2021
Publication Date Jan 5, 2021
Deposit Date Jan 12, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jan 13, 2021
Journal Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Print ISSN 2573-0142
Electronic ISSN 2573-0142
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue CSCW3
Article Number 248
Public URL
Publisher URL


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