Chapter 72 — Social Robotics

A learning companion robot to foster pre-K vocabulary learning

This video summarizes a study where a learning-companion robot engages children in a storytelling game over repeated encounters over two months. The learning objective is for pre-K children to learn targeted vocabulary words which the robot introduces in its stories. In each session, the robot first tells a story and then invites the child to tell a story. A storyscape app on a tablet computer facilitates the narration of the story. While the child tells his or her story, the robot behaves as an engaged listener. Two conditions were investigated where the robot either matched the complexity of its stories to the child's language level, or does not. Results show that children successfully learn target vocabulary with the robot in general, and more words are learned when the complexity of the robot's stories matches the language ability of the child.
Cynthia Breazeal
MIT Media Lab. This work is funded by an NSF award 1138986