IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN)
Jacqueline Kory Westlund, Personal Robots Group, MIT Media Lab
Hae Won Park, Personal Robots Group, MIT Media Lab
Iolanda Leite, Disney Research, Pittsburgh, USA
Chien-Ming Huang, Social Robotics Lab, Yale University, USA
James Kennedy, Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems, Plymouth University, U.K.
Caitlyn Clabaugh, Interaction Lab, University of Southern California, USA
Elaine Short, Interaction Lab, University of Southern California, USA
Because of their potential to assist and entertain children, social robots are increasingly being developed and studied as companions for children in education, therapy, entertainment, healthcare, and more. In most of these domains, a single interaction between a robot and a child is insufficient to achieve the desired goal (e.g., to increase learning gains or promote behavior change). Therefore, researchers in the field are faced with the challenge of developing robust and autonomous robots capable of interacting with children over weeks, months, or even years. The challenge of long-term interaction raises new research problems in the design principles of robot platforms and interaction scenarios, evaluation methods, and algorithmic approaches. These problems need to be addressed across the spectrum of interaction applications and the users: children, caregivers, therapists. Researchers must also address data collection and analysis methods, as there are already problems resulting from commercialized products using the cloud to collect children’s data, raising concerns of threatening their privacy.
These long-term, repeated encounters mean research moves out of the lab and into the field, conducting studies in schools, hospitals, and even participants' homes. These studies often require partnerships with teachers, practitioners, and clinicians. These professions use different evaluation metrics, different approaches to designing successful, engaging interactions, and ask different research questions. Therefore, this workshop aims to bring researchers from different disciplines together to discuss the unique challenges and opportunities of conducting longitudinal and microgenetic research with children and robots. Our intended audience includes researchers, practitioners, and students, who have children as their target users across disciplines in child-robot and child-computer interaction, computer science, psychology, child development, education, healthcare, entertainment, and more.