University of Hertfordshire

By the same authors

A Study of a Single Robot Interacting with Groups of Children in a Rotation Game Scenario

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


  • 101967

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProcs 2005 IEEE Int Symposium on Computational Intelligence in Robotics and Automation
Subtitle of host publicationCIRA 2005
ISBN (Print)0-7803-9355-4
StatePublished - 2005
Event2005 IEEE Int Symposium of Computational Intelligence in Robotics & Automation - Espoo, Finland


Conference2005 IEEE Int Symposium of Computational Intelligence in Robotics & Automation


We tested the hypothesis that children are more
attentive to a robot if the robot appears to be interested in the
children. In addition, we investigated if and how the quality and
quantity of a child's attentive behaviour varies with the
distance to the robot, reflecting the notion of "social spaces".
Hereto, 16 groups of up to 10 children each were engaged in a
play scenario in which they had to move closer to a robot over 6
successive rounds. The robot was endowed with a "camera
eye" and an arm and hand. The camera could either be nonmoving
("static") or actively "searching" ("active searching"),
giving the impression it was trying to select a child to focus on.
Likewise, the arm and hand could either be fixed in a
permanent pointing position ("permanent pointing") or actively
rise to point selectively at a particular child when it stopped
facing it ("selective pointing"). The results showed that:
1) The mean frequency of overall attentive behaviour by the
children (including attention towards other children) was
significantly higher when the robot was not selectively pointing
at the children and independent of the state of the camera.
2) "Looking at" was the most frequently scored attentive
activity for the children and was mainly targeted to the robot,
but not correlated with any of their other attentive activities.
3) There was an interaction effect between the state of the
camera and of the pointer: looking at the robot by the children
occurred significantly more often when the camera and the
arm were consistent in signalling apparent interest (i.e. camera
"(active searching" and hand "selectively pointing" or camera
"static" and hand "permanently pointing").
4) There was no demonstrable effect of distance to the robot on
the overall attentive behaviour of the children.

ID: 456822