PhD Alumna Veronica Newhart has published with Professor Judith Sandholtz in ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction: "Going to School on a Robot: Robot and User Interface Design Features that Matter."
Telepresence robots have recently been introduced as a way for children who are homebound due to medical conditions to attend their local schools. These robots provide an experience that is a much richer learning experience than the typical home instruction services of 4–5 hours a week. Because the robots on the market today were designed for use by adults in work settings, they do not necessarily fit children in school settings. We carried out a study of 19 homebound students, interviewing and observing them as well as interviewing their parents, teachers, administrators, and classmates. We organized our findings along the lines of the various tasks and settings the child is in, developing a learner-centered analytic framework, then teacher-, classmate-, and homebound-controller-centered analytic frameworks. Although some features of current robots fit children in school settings, we discovered a number of cases where there was a mismatch or additional features are needed. Our findings are described according to analytic frames that capture user experiences. Based on these user-centered findings, we provide recommendations for designing the robot and user interface to better fit children using robots for school and learning activities.
Veronica Ahumada-Newhart and Judith S. Olson. 2019. Going to School on a Robot: Robot and User Interface Design Features that Matter. ACM Trans. Comput.-Hum. Interact. 26, 4, Article 25 (May 2019), 29 pages.