Levels of Automation and Transparency: Interaction Design Considerations in Assistive Robots for Older Adults

Samuel Olatunji, Tal Oron-Gilad, Noa Markfeld, Dana Gutman, Vardit Sarne-Fleischmann, Yael Edan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is important to encourage older adults to remain active when interacting with assistive robots. This study proposes a schematic model for integrating levels of automation (LOAs) and transparency (LoTs) in assistive robots to match the preferences and expectations of older adults. Metrics to evaluate LOA and LoT design combinations are defined. We develop two distinctive test cases to examine interaction design considerations for robots working for this population in everyday tasks: a person-following task with a mobile robot and a table-setting task with a robot manipulator. Evaluations in user studies with older adults reveal that LOA and LoT combinations influence interaction elements. Low LOA and high LoT encouraged activity engagement while receiving adequate information regarding the robot's behavior. The variety of objective and subjective metrics is essential to provide a holistic framework for evaluating the interaction.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)673-683
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Assistive robots (ARs)
  • human-robot interaction
  • interaction design
  • level of automation (LOA)
  • level of transparency (LoT)
  • older adults
  • socially ARs

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Signal Processing
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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