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      Socialization between toddlers and robots at an early childhood education center.

      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

      Social Behavior, Child, Preschool, Female, Humans, Infant, Interpersonal Relations, Male, Robotics, instrumentation, Schools

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          Abstract

          A state-of-the-art social robot was immersed in a classroom of toddlers for >5 months. The quality of the interaction between children and robots improved steadily for 27 sessions, quickly deteriorated for 15 sessions when the robot was reprogrammed to behave in a predictable manner, and improved in the last three sessions when the robot displayed again its full behavioral repertoire. Initially, the children treated the robot very differently than the way they treated each other. By the last sessions, 5 months later, they treated the robot as a peer rather than as a toy. Results indicate that current robot technology is surprisingly close to achieving autonomous bonding and socialization with human toddlers for sustained periods of time and that it could have great potential in educational settings assisting teachers and enriching the classroom environment.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          17984068
          2084278
          10.1073/pnas.0707769104

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