TitleAutonomous disengagement classification and repair in multiparty child-robot interaction
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsLeite, I, McCoy, M, Lohani, M, Salomons, N, McElvaine, K, Stokes, C, Rivers, S, Scassellati, B
Conference Name2016 25th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN)2016 25th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN)
Conference LocationNew York, NY, USA

As research on robotic tutors increases, it becomes more relevant to understand whether and how robots will be able to keep students engaged over time. In this paper, we propose an algorithm to monitor engagement in small groups of children and trigger disengagement repair interventions when necessary. We implemented this algorithm in a scenario where two robot actors play out interactive narratives around emotional words and conducted a field study where 72 children interacted with the robots three times in one of the following conditions: control (no disengagement repair), targeted (interventions addressing the child with the highest disengagement level) and general (interventions addressing the whole group). Surprisingly, children in the control condition had higher narrative recall than in the two experimental conditions, but no significant differences were found in the emotional interpretation of the narratives. When comparing the two different types of disengagement repair strategies, participants who received targeted interventions had higher story recall and emotional understanding, and their valence after disengagement repair interventions increased over time.