Child–Robot Interaction in Education
Advances in the field of robotics in recent years have enabled the deployment of robots in a multitude of settings, and it is predicted that this will continue to increase, leading to a profound impact on society in the future. This thesis takes its starting point in educational robots; specifically the kind of robots that are designed to interact socially with children. Such robots are often modeled on humans, and made to express and/or perceive emotions, for the purpose of creating some social or emotional attachment in children. This thesis presents a research effort in which an empathic robotic tutor was developed and studied in a school setting, focusing on children’s interactions with the robot over time and across different educational scenarios. With support from the Responsible Research and Innovation Framework, this thesis furthermore sheds light on ethical dilemmas and the social desirability of implementing robots in future classrooms, seen from the eyes of teachers and students. The thesis concludes that children willingly follow instructions from a robotic tutor, and they may also develop a sense of connection with robots, treating them as social actors. However, children’s interactions with robots often break down in unconstrained classroom settings when expectations go unmet, making the potential gain of robots in education questionable. From an ethical perspective, there are many open questions regarding stakeholders’ concerns on matters of privacy, roles and responsibility, as well as unintended consequences. These issues need to be dealt with when attempting to implement autonomous robots in education on a larger scale.
Parts of work
I. Serholt, S., Basedow, C., Barendregt, W., & Obaid, M. Comparing a humanoid tutor to a human tutor delivering an instructional task to children. In Proceedings of the 14th IEEE/RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots 2014; 1134–1141. ::doi::10.1109/HUMANOIDS.2014.7041511II. Serholt, S., & Barendregt, W. Robots tutoring children: Longitudinal evaluation of social engagement in child–robot interaction. In Proceedings of the 9th Nordic Conference on Human–Computer Interaction 2016. ::doi::10.1145/2971485.2971536III. Serholt, S. Breakdowns in children’s interactions with a robotic tutor: A longitudinal study. Submitted to an international journal 2017.IV. Serholt, S., Barendregt, W., Leite, I., Hastie, H., Jones, A., Paiva, A., Vasalou, A., & Castellano, G. Teachers’ views on the use of empathic robotic tutors in the classroom. In Proceedings of the 23rd IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication 2014; 955–960. ::doi::10.1109/ROMAN.2014.6926376V. Serholt, S., Barendregt, W., Küster, D., Jones, A., Alves-Oliveira, P., & Paiva, A. Students' normative perspectives on classroom robots. In J. Seibt, M. Nørskov & S. Schack Andersen (Eds.), What Social Robots Can and Should Do: Proceedings of Robophilosophy/TRANSOR 2016; 240–251, IOS Press. ::doi::10.3233/978-1-61499-708-5-240VI. Serholt, S., Barendregt, W., Vasalou, A., Alves-Oliveira, P., Jones, A., Petisca, S., & Paiva, A. The case of classroom robots: Teachers' deliberations on the ethical tensions. AI & Society: Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Communication 2016; 1–19. ::doi::10.1007/s00146-016-0667-2
Doctor of Philosophy
University of Gothenburg. IT faculty.
Department of Applied Information Technology ; Institutionen för tillämpad informationsteknologi
Fredagen den 15 september 2017, kl. 13.15, Sal Torg Grön, Hus Patricia, Forskningsgången 6
Date of defence
responsible research and innovation