Adaptation profiles in first-time robot users: Towards understanding adaptation patterns and their implications for design

Juan Montalván, Heesun Shin, Francisco Cuéllar, Kunpyo Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


As the presence in our homes of robotics and other automation technologies increases, the diversity of the contexts in which people adapt to these new technologies also increases significantly. This scenario calls for a better understanding of the contextuality of adaptation in order to reveal how differences in adaptation patterns appear. For this purpose, two countries with different technological conditions, Peru and South Korea, were chosen for study, building on previous research in Europe and the USA. Four Peruvian and four Korean families were each given a robot vacuum cleaner, and their adaptation processes were followed in detail over six months. During this time the researchers visited the families periodically, employing Likert-scale questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and generative tools, and the families contributed through periodical video recordings and social media tools. After a combination of ethnographic interpretation, behavioral analysis and grounded theory procedures, distinctive adaptation patterns, and the main elements influencing them, were identified. Then an adaptation profiles framework (APF) was developed, elaborating on the existing relationships between adaptation patterns and these elements, and five distinctive adaptation profiles were defined. Finally, design implications for improving adaptation were drawn, taking into consideration the multiple forms in which it is manifested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Design
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptation Profiles Framework
  • Contextuality
  • Human Adaptation to New Technologies
  • Multi-Sited Ethnography
  • Robot Vacuum Cleaners

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Marketing


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