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In the field of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), a novel experimental methodology is presented for carrying out studies which uses a theatrical presentation with an actor interacting and cooperating with robots in realistic scenarios before an audience. This methodology has been inspired by previous research in Human-Computer Interaction. The actor also stays in role for a post-theatre session, answering questions and encouraging the audience to discuss their respective opinions and viewpoints relating to the HRI scenario enactment. The development and running of a first exploratory pilot experiment using the new Theatre HRI (THRI) methodology is presented and critically reviewed. Based on this review and the associated findings from the audience discussion session, it is concluded that the Theatre-based HRI (THRI) methodology is viable for performing HRI user studies.
Date of Conference: 10-15 Feb. 2010