Some people-experiments with robotic companions:
It’s going to take us some time to conduct a complete analysis of the data from the HI-SEAS mission, however there are some interesting observations I made as a part of the mission myself. First, crew members who interact with animals in their normal lives at home tend to react and bond with robotic companions much more easily and quickly. This becomes more evident when you give a robotic companion to a person who’s had little or no exposure to pets in their everyday lives: there seems to be a sense of confusion to what they are supposed to do with the robot.
Second, people interact with the robot in a variety of different ways. Some would passively interact with it while working on their computers. Others would dedicate their full attention to the companion, and experiment by making it do tricks, or dressing the companion up to run on the habitat treadmill for some imaginary exercise. These kinds of interactions create a great deal of laughter and sense of fun in the habitat, and I think at these times the robotic companions definitely achieved their goals.