Open Access Research in the News: Preschoolers Learn Programming

This post by Katherine Dunn originally appeared on the MIT Libraries News Blog.

MIT researchers are developing a system in which children as young as four can program a socially interactive robot so it reacts to stimuli. The Dragonbot, built by Media Lab professor Cynthia Breazeal and colleagues in MIT’s Personal Robots Group, is equipped with audio and visual sensors and a speech synthesizer, and can show different expressions on its video-screen face. Children use stickers with various icons on them in different shapes and colors to make rules for the robot to follow.

“Our early observations hold promise that young children are highly engaged with and can derive educational benefit from using the social robot toolkit,” the authors write in a paper presented earlier this month at the Association for Computing Machinery and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction.

Explore Professor Breazeal’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.