This research explored if a social robot would play a role in facilitating the development of friendship between young children while they engage in playful learning. Grounded in child–robot interaction and child development literature, we instantiated four sessions of triadic interaction activities among two children and a robot, where the robot mediated the children’s collaborative interactions. There were two types of robot-mediated activities (Conversational and Tablet assisted) with each type having two sessions and each session taking approx. 20 minutes, depending on the children. The activities were deployed with ten children (aged five to six) in an after-school program in a rural public school in the U.S. twice a week for two weeks. We video-recorded the sessions and later annotated these recordings for analysis. The friendship development between the children in a pair was observed in terms of five behavioral categories (liking, togetherness, parity, agreement, and co-construction). The results showed that both conversational and tablet-assisted robot mediation contributed complementarily to friendship development among the children.
- Child–robot interaction
- human–robot interaction
- interaction design for children
- multimodal data
- social robotics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications