Educational Robots: Three Models for the Research of Learning Theories and Human-Robot Interaction

Sheila Tejada, Neil Traft, Malcolm Hutson, Harold Bufford, Matthew Dooner, Joshua Hanson, Anthony Radler, George Mauer

In the summer of 2006, the Tulane Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department teamed up with UNO graduate students in education and developmental psychology to conduct experiments in the education of young children using robotic agents. Students from the AI Robotics class used the Sony AIBO robotic dog to design three different educational systems geared primarily toward young physically and mentally challenged children. We consulted with UNO graduate students concerning pre- kindergarten education and visited a special education institution, The Chinchuba Institute. The Chinchuba Institute educates hearing- and speech-impaired children, along with children with mental disabilities. We returned with impressive results, designing three systems that focus on methods of communication with the student and usability for the student and teacher. We encountered many challenges in designing for the pre-K and K-12 classroom, such as making the robot interaction robust and intuitive to a child.

Subjects: 17. Robotics; 6.3 User Interfaces

Submitted: Nov 27, 2006

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