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“I Love This Dog”—Children’s Emotional Attachment to the Robotic Dog AIBO

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In this paper we present a methodological variation of assessing emotional attachment of children and adults to the robotic pet AIBO, using an atypical application area (a shopping mall) and leaving the participation in the study as totally voluntary. This free exploration case study was situated in a shopping mall for three reasons: People do not expect a robotic pet in this context (first time reaction) and the context allows to address a high number of possible participants and to create an awareness for robots in general. To investigate the methodological concept and to find out if such a setting can be beneficial for a better understanding of the influence of first time contact with a robotic pet to the emotional attachment, we conducted the case study on three consecutive work days. We could show that this method reveals interesting and novel aspects on the development of emotional attachment.

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Correspondence to Astrid Weiss.

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Weiss, A., Wurhofer, D. & Tscheligi, M. “I Love This Dog”—Children’s Emotional Attachment to the Robotic Dog AIBO. Int J of Soc Robotics 1, 243–248 (2009).

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