i n v e s t i g a t o r s :
Keith Evan Green
Architecture/ECE, PI
Ian D. Walker

Robotics Engineer, Co-PI
Susan King Fullerton
Education, Co-PI
Elise Lewis
Library & Info Sci. [USC], Co-PI
George Schafer
PDBE PhD Student

Amith Vijaykumar
ECE MS Student

Mostafa Hashem
PDBE PhD Student

Siddharth Verma
ECE MS Student

f u n d i n g :

U.S. National Science Foundation # IIS-1352992

NSF logo
Video of early prototype C2 as shown above (2012).


The LIT KIT is an affordable mechanism designed for educators and parents to bring learning-focused robotics into classrooms and homes.

More practically, the LIT KIT is a mixed-technology architectural-robotic system for enhancing children's picture-book reading. The product of a mutlidisciplinary and iterative process, the LIT KIT aims to scaffold critical literacy skills such as vocabulary acquisition, reading comprehension, and print motivation by creating a fun, interactive experience for children.

Based upon the hypothesis that literacy skills can be advanced in an environment that is both physical and digital, the LIT KIT employs color, sound and movement to create an environment that is evocative of the picture-book being read. Originally designed with a Sifteo cube interface, the LIT KIT, through room-scale environmental effects, acts to both contextualize language and provide feedback during dialogical interactions between a child and an adult reader. Additionally, children can customize the LIT KIT settings, allowing them to actively interpret the ideas, concepts and environments inherent in the picture-book's words and images.

The LIT KIT is an outreach component, for home or classroom use, of the room-scaled LIT ROOM developed by our research team for deployment in a major public library.

LIT KIT [C-4, 2016]
Our team has most recently produced four identical, more refined LIT KITs (prototype C-4) intended for a more intensive, longitudinal study we wish to conduct in classrooms and, potentially, in homes. Video of LIT KIT prototype C4 [2016]

Schafer. G, Green, K. E., Walker, I. D., Fullerton, S. K. and Lewis, E. An Interactive, Cyber-Physical Read-Aloud Environment: Results and Lessons from an Evaluation Activity with Children and their Teachers. In Proceedings of DIS 2014, the ACM conference on Designing Interactive Systems, Vancouver, B.C., pp. 865–874.

Schafer. G, Green, K. E., Walker, I. D. and Lewis, E, Fullerton, S. et. al. Designing the LIT KIT: An Interactive, Environmental Mixed-Technology Robotic System for Enhancing Children's Picture-book Reading. Submitted to Proceedings of IDC 2013: the 12th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children, June 24-27, New York.

Schafer. G, Green, K. E., Walker, I. D. and Lewis, E.  A Networked Suite of Mixed-Technology Robotic Artifacts for Advancing Literacy in Children. Proceedings of IDC 2012: the 11th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children, June 12-15, Bremen, Germany, Germany, pp. 168-171.

LIT KIT code for Arduino handling of the wifi chip and LCD screen
LIT KIT code for handling music, lights, and motor movements