This work was conducted to investigate the technological acceptance and social perception of a robot helper in a rural context. A feasibility study was carried out in a rural village in India with 11 participants for a water carrying task using the robot. A strong cultural influence was found in terms of gender perception of the robot, most participants perceived the robot's gender as female despite of the robot having a male voice. The overall social perception and usefulness of the robot was observed to be positive. Also repeated interaction with three participants showed reduced anxiety and increased acceptability of the robot. The paper reports results from the questionnaires and also some practical challenges and sociocultural considerations to be taken in to account while running such studies 'in the wild' with rural subjects. © 2018 IEEE.
A. Deshmukh, Krishna, S., Akshay, N., Vilvanathan, V., Sivaprasad, J. V., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Technology Acceptance, Sociocultural Influence and Gender Perception of Robots: A Human Robot Interaction Study with Naive Users in Rural India”, in RO-MAN 2018 - 27th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, 2018.