The Huggable: A Socially Assistive Robot for Pediatric Care

Dos Santos, K. "The Huggable: A Socially Assistive Robot for Pediatric Care"


The purpose of this thesis is to present the design and evaluation of a new type of socially assistive robot, one that can interact with people and collect various types of sensory input while being small enough to hold in one's arms. This project is a completely new revision of the Huggable project created by Dan Stiehl and Cynthia Breazeal, which features a new mechanical design, a revamped electronics structure, and a polished control system based off of its sister project, DragonBot (developed by Adam Setapen). This thesis describes the process of how this new design came to be, and provides extensive content on how it was designed, along with all major components that were included. An evaluation is also presented as a test run for the new Huggable, in the form of an online survey. The results, along with much of the work done with the initial prototype, showed that there is still much work to be done to be convincing as a robust research robot. Improvements are listed, as well as its future work with Boston Children's Hospital. This new design hopes to finally bring the Huggable project out into the field for actual use with people.

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