Designing Tools that Allows Children in the Early Childhood to Program Robots

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10296)


This paper describes the design and evaluation process of two mobile programming assistance tools that allow children in the early childhood to develop programs and execute them using robots. The tools are called TITIBOTS and TITIBOTS Colab which incorporates collaboration. The tools have icon-based interfaces and integrate visual programming, robotics, and mobile devices as one tool. The main issues and lessons learned during the design process are described. The methodology used in this project was User-Centered Design (UCD) process. The tools were developed and evaluated applying participatory-design, experience prototyping, and usability testing. The final product are two simple, intuitive, and easy to use tools, for children between 4 and 6 years old. The results were promising: children liked the applications and were willing to continue using it to program robots for solving specific tasks.


User interfaces and Human computer interaction Interaction design User-Centered Design Early childhood education Programming tool Programming robots 



This work was supported by ECCI-UCR (Escuela de Ciencias de la Computación e Informática) and by CITIC-UCR (Centro de Investigaciones en Tecnologías de la Información y Comunicación), grand No. 834-B3-260 and No. 834-B5-A04. Thanks to the FOD (Fundación Omar Dengo) and RExLab for helping us in the validation and evaluation of programming tools. Thanks to Mariana López (designer and usability expert) and to Franklin Garcia (designer and system developer).


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad de Costa RicaSan JoséCosta Rica

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