A human factors analysis of the Stretch mobile manipulator robot

Travis Kadylak, Megan A. Bayles, Leonardo Galoso, Maxwell Chan, Harshal Mahajan, Charles C. Kemp, Aaron Edsinger, Wendy Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Assistive and mobile robots have potential to support everyday domestic tasks and enable independence for persons in the home. As a first step to evaluating this potential, we assessed the initial unboxing and setup of Hello Robot’s Stretch RE1– a novel mobile manipulator designed for domestic settings. All study procedures took place in the McKechnie Family LIFE Home, which is a smart home research facility on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. We used subject matter experts (SMEs) and followed human factors principles to consider obstacles users with diverse needs and capabilities (e.g., older adults, persons with mobility disabilities) might encounter during the unboxing process. We then conducted 50 trials of user testing and critical task analyses in the LIFE home to assess the feasibility and usability for different use cases. Research team members controlled Stretch by using a game controller. We used Stretch to manipulate 15 different types of objects that would be part of domestic activities needed to live independently, such as tasks needed for meal preparation. We documented the frequency of errors, time spent manipulating the object, and informal qualitative feedback from teleoperators during and after each trial (using a think-aloud protocol). Implications for future domestic robot design using human factors approaches are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-446
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2021
Event65th Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, HFES 2021 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Oct 3 2021Oct 8 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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