The Effect of a Robot’s Social Character on Children’s Task Engagement: Peer Versus Tutor

  • Cristina ZagaEmail author
  • Manja Lohse
  • Khiet P. Truong
  • Vanessa Evers
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9388)


An increasing number of applications for social robots focuses on learning and playing with children. One of the unanswered questions is what kind of social character a robot should have in order to positively engage children in a task. In this paper, we present a study on the effect of two different social characters of a robot (peer vs. tutor) on children’s task engagement. We derived peer and tutor robot behaviors from the literature and we evaluated the two robot characters in a WoZ study where 10 pairs of children aged 6 to 9 played Tangram puzzles with a Nao robot. Our results show that in the peer character condition, children paid attention to the robot and the task for a longer period of time and solved the puzzles quicker and better than in the tutor character condition.


Child-Robot Interaction Task engagement Robot characters Robot behaviors 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Open Access This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristina Zaga
    • 1
    Email author
  • Manja Lohse
    • 1
  • Khiet P. Truong
    • 1
  • Vanessa Evers
    • 1
  1. 1.Human Media InteractionUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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