Welcome to the IEEE Ro-Man 2016 Workshop on Long-term Child-robot Interaction!

Date & Time: Aug. 31st, 2016, 9:00am-5:00pm
Location: TBD


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, etc. 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. 

List of Topics

Topics include (but are not limited to) the following: 

  • Design of autonomous systems for long-term child-robot interaction
  • Design and methodologies for repeated child-robot encounters 
  • Theories and methods for evaluating long-term child-robot interaction 
  • Personalization and adaptation algorithms for long-term interaction 
  • Long-term data collection and analysis 
  • Designing for caregivers/therapists and others involved in child development 
  • Challenges and guidelines for long-term child-robot interaction field studies 
  • Incorporating theories and methods of child behavioral science into the design of longterm child-robot interaction 
  • Impact of robot technology on children's cognitive and social development 
  • Evaluation of child-robot novelty and engagement 
  • Autonomy and transparency in long-term interaction 
  • Multi-party long-term child-robot interaction 
  • Long-term user engagement with robots 
  • Effects of embodiment on long-term interaction 
  • Affect, social bonding, and learning applied to child-robot interaction 
  • Robots as educational or instructional agents 
  • Socially assistive robots for children 
  • Industrial applications in long-term child-robot interaction 
  • Child-privacy and ethical issues in long-term robot applications