i n v e s t i g a t o r s :
Keith Evan Green (PI)
Design & Mech. Eng., Cornell
Tamar Kushnir

Cognitive Science, Cornell
Christina Keefe
M.Eng. Mech. E. student
Bill Addo

CS student, Cornell

p a r t n e r s :
Sciencecenter (Ithaca, NY)

Mutual Cognitive Development in Children and Robots through their Interaction

o v e r v i e w :
We are investigating cognitive development and embodiment as present in both human and machine elements, specifically young children and non-humanoid robots, through their interaction in spatial cognition tasks. We are working with an iRobot Create-2 to physically form, with young children, physical environments of simple shapes by moving a hinged perimeter wall (play-yard). How might we get the iRobot Create-2 to learn from the experience of forming these shapes to (a) optimize the task and (b) to teach a naive child to do the same with its help?

We are currently: (a) advancing our early design of the robot (built on an iRobot Create base) to react to children’s voice commands and learn from children’s decisions as children and the robot build spaces with inactive building elements; and (b) investigating the communication between children and the robot in order to better understand children’s performance of spatial tasks with the robot’s assistance.