Escape!bot. Social Robots as Creative Problem-solving Partners


Personal Robots Group, MIT Media Lab

Safinah Ali

Ali, S., Devasia, N. E., & Breazeal, C. (2022, June). Escape! Bot: Social Robots as Creative Problem-Solving Partners. In Creativity and Cognition (pp. 275-283). 🏆 Paper received honorable mention award!


In this work, we explore the effect of a social robot’s embodiment and creativity scaffolding on children’s creative problem solving skills in the context of a digital creative problem-solving game called Escape! Bot. Children aged 5-11 years played the video game, which involved assembling contraptions to escape a digital world, and the robot Jibo acted as a collaborative peer that offered questions, reflective prompts, challenges, and ideas. In order to evaluate the role of the robot’s co-presence and creativity scaffolding, we ran a 2x2 experiment to determine the factorial efficacy of the robot’s embodiment and creativity scaffolding behaviors. We observed mixed results, with the robot’s creativity scaffolding having a positive influence on the time taken to complete the game, but not on the overall use of novel objects or reuse of objects. We present the system design, user study and findings from Escape!Bot to investigate the feasibility of designing social robots to support creative problem solving.


Personal Robots Group

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