Children’s perceptions of social robots: a study of the robots Pepper, AV1 and Tessa at Norwegian research fairs
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionAI & Society: The Journal of Human-Centred Systems and Machine Intelligence. 2020 https://doi.org/10.1007/s00146-020-00998-w
This article studies perceptual differences of three social robots by elementary school children of ages 6–13 years (n = 107) at research fairs. The autonomous humanoid robot Pepper, an advanced social robot primarily designed as a personal assistant with movement and mobility, is compared to the teleoperated AV1 robot—designed to help elementary school children who cannot attend school to have a telepresence through the robot—and the flowerpot robot Tessa, used in the eWare system as an avatar for a home sensor system and dedicated to people with dementia living alone. These three robots were shown at the Norwegian national research fair, held in every major Norwegian city annually, where children were able to interact with the robots. Our analysis is based on quantitative survey data of the school children concerning the robots and qualitative discussions with them. By comparing three different types of social robots, we found that presence can be differently understood and conceptualized with different robots, especially relating to their function and “aliveness.” Additionally, we found a strong difference when relating robots to personal relations to one’s own grandparents versus older adults in general. We found children’s perceptions of robots to be relatively positive, curious and exploratory and that they were quite reflective on their own grandparent having a robot.