We design reading companion robots that listen to children so they have ``someone to read with'' at home.
We conducted participatory design sessions to understand what children and parents prefer for the interaction of an in-home robot.
We investigate how a reading companion robot at home can help children's science and reading interest in long-term interactions.
This project aims to increase STEM interest in children through the use of a social reading companion robot. These companions are able give interest and knowledge support through the comments they provide as the child reads informal science books. As part of our research, we look to investigate how we can improve the support the robot provides, and methods for improving the interaction, as these robots are deployed with children in-home for several weeks. We’ve recently investigated user preferences for the different modalities available for use within an interaction, as well as how to design comments that couple with robot emotions for a stronger connection making between the child and the robot. Currently, we are investigating the incorporation of interest support comments within the interaction and how these affect children’s situational interest in the STEM material. We are also researching how these companions will affect children’s reading patterns and STEM interest when deployed in-home for longer durations.