Social Engagement Cues in a Child-Robot Interaction: Effects of a Sidekick
Social Engagement Cues in a Child-Robot Interaction: Effects of a Sidekick

In this study, we explored the impact of a co-located sidekick on child-robot interaction. We examined child behaviors while interacting with an expressive furniture robot and his robot lamp sidekick. The results showed that the presence of a sidekick did not alter child proximity, but did increase attention to spoken elements of the interaction. This suggests the addition of a co-located sidekick has potential to increase engagement but may not alter subtle physical interactions associated with personal space and group spatial arrangements. The findings also reinforce existing research by the community on proxemics and anthropomorphism.

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank J. Lehman for organizing the Summer Games, as well as R. Risden, R. Martincic, C. Enrietti, J. Menge, J. A. Parker, and S. Zhao for helping with data collection. We would also like to acknowledge K. Miller’s assistance with data transcription, and A. Stambler for providing the voice for Chester. Special thanks to M. Glisson for helping build the robots, as well as to J. Hodgins and M. Mahler for their feedback and design suggestions. We are thankful to Disney Research and The Walt Disney Corporation for continued support of this research effort.

Publications
M. Vázquez, A. Steinfeld, S. E. Hudson, J. Forlizzi. Spatial and Other Social Engagement Cues in a Child-Robot Interaction: Effects of a Sidekick. Proc. of the 2014 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), 2014.