International Journal of Social Robotics

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 329–341 | Cite as

Empathic Robots for Long-term Interaction

Evaluating Social Presence, Engagement and Perceived Support in Children
  • Iolanda LeiteEmail author
  • Ginevra Castellano
  • André Pereira
  • Carlos Martinho
  • Ana Paiva


As a great number of robotic products are entering people’s lives, the question of how can they behave in order to sustain long-term interactions with users becomes increasingly more relevant. In this paper, we present an empathic model for social robots that aim to interact with children for extended periods of time. The application of this model to a scenario where a social robot plays chess with children is described. To evaluate the proposed model, we conducted a long-term study in an elementary school and measured children’s perception of social presence, engagement and social support.


Empathy Social presence Engagement Social support Long-term interaction 



We would like to express our gratitude to all the staff and study participants from Escola 31 de Janeiro in Parede, where the long-term experiment was conducted. This research was supported by EU \(7{\mathrm{th}}\) FP under grant agreement no. 317923, and by national funds through FCT-Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, under project PEst-OE/EEI/LA0021/2011, the PIDDAC Program funds. The authors are solely responsible for the content of this publication. It does not represent the opinion of the EC, and the EC is not responsible for any use that might be made of data appearing therein.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iolanda Leite
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ginevra Castellano
    • 2
  • André Pereira
    • 1
  • Carlos Martinho
    • 1
  • Ana Paiva
    • 1
  1. 1.INESC-ID and Instituto Superior TécnicoTechnical University of LisbonOeirasPortugal
  2. 2.HCI Centre, School of Electronic, Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUnited Kingdom

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