University of Twente Student Theses


Engaging child-robot interaction in a collaborative task

Zaga, Cristina (2014) Engaging child-robot interaction in a collaborative task.

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Abstract:The thesis tackles engagement elicitation and evaluation in the child-robot interaction context. Children are a user group who respond readily and strongly to a robot showing social behavior. Some aspects of child-robot engagement have been researched, but previous researches have focused mainly on mentally and physically impaired children in a one-to-one child-robot interaction. As a result, little is known about the pattern of engagement between a normally developed children and a robot. In addition, there is not a widely accepted method of engagement assessment. To address the gap, the thesis provides a definition of engagement able to account of the cognitive, affective, behavioral attributes of engagement between a dyad of six to eight years old children and a robot, while performing an edutainment collaborative task. The project is divided in two parts: an interaction design part, where the ultimate goal is to identify engaging robot’s behaviors for the scenario and an evaluation part where the engaging behaviors, one peer and one tutor-like are tested in a user study. The evaluation part consists mainly in a first exploratory study to get insights about the interaction between a dyad of healthy and normally developed primary school children and a social robot (i.e., Nao Robot) exhibiting the two different potentially engaging behaviors (peer vs. tutor), while performing a collaborative task with Tangram puzzles. The main goal is to observe and annotate the cognitive, affective, and behavioral aspects of social and task engagement, and to frame the frequent and collaborative behaviors occurring among the children. Cues such as mutual gaze, emphatic gestures and facial expressions, which are indicative of these aspects of engagement and collaboration, are annotated manually. In addition, to have a more objective account of the children’s affective states, electrodermal activity (EDA) has been registered. Next to the measures described above, the study is supplemented by children’s self-reports (mainly post-interaction questionnaires specifically adjusted to children) as a ‘ground truth’ mean of subjective evaluation of the children’s engagement.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:54 computer science
Programme:Interaction Technology MSc (60030)
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