Project

Robotic Learning Companions

Personal Robots

The language and literacy skills of young children entering school are highly predictive of their long-term academic success. Children from low-income families are particularly at risk. Parents often work multiple jobs, giving them less time to talk to and read with their children. Parents might be illiterate or not speak the language taught in local schools, and they may not have been read to as children, providing less experience of good co-reading practice to draw upon. We are currently developing a robotic reading companion for young children, trained by interactive demonstrations from parents and/or educational experts. We intend for this robot to complement parental interaction and emulate some of their best practices in co-reading, building language and literacy through asking comprehension questions, prompting exploration, and simply being emotionally involved in the child's reading experience.

The language and literacy skills of young children entering school are highly predictive of their long-term academic success. Children from low-income families are particularly at risk. Parents often work multiple jobs, giving them less time to talk to and read with their children. Parents might be illiterate or not speak the language taught in local schools, and they may not have been read to as children, providing less experience of good co-reading practice to draw upon. We are currently developing a robotic reading companion for young children, trained by interactive demonstrations from parents and/or educational experts. We intend for this robot to complement parental interaction and emulate some of their best practices in co-reading, building language and literacy through asking comprehension questions, prompting exploration, and simply being emotionally involved in the child's reading experience.