“My name is Rinaldo and I work as an assistant professor at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research. I employ a media psychological approach in my research and my work focuses on the cognitive and emotional processes that underlie media uses and effects. In the CHILDROBOT project I work as a post-doctoral researcher. I am fascinated by social robots because they are a very unique communication technology: While most classical media merely function as channels of communication, social robots can be our communication partners. Because social robots will be prevalent in the lives of our children, I am very interested in how children perceive, relate to, and learn from social robots and what psychological mechanisms explain the outcomes of child-robot interactions.”
Caroline van StratenPhD Candidate
My name is Caroline van Straten and I work as a PhD candidate at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research. With a background in artificial intelligence and cognitive science, I am interested in the investigation of interactions between humans, robots, and computers, with a focus on the cognitive processes underlying these interactions. Within the CHILDROBOT project, I study the emergence of social relationships between children and robots. As in the future, children will increasingly encounter robots that will seem more and more similar to children’s peers, it is important to map the consequences of such encounters. What I like most about the research the CHILDROBOT team conducts is that, no matter how long scientists like us discuss child-robot interaction, in the end children always keep surprising us.
Jochen PeterPrinciple investigator
My name is Jochen Peter and I work as a full professor at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research. I am the principle investigator of the CHILDROBOT project, which is supported by a grant I received from the European Research Council (ERC). The main purpose of the CHILDROBOT project is to develop an integrative framework of one of today’s most intriguing, relevant, and timely issues – children’s interaction with social robots. To this end, we combine insights from communication research, human-robot interaction, and psychology to investigate when, how, and with what consequences children interact with social robots. The project is of great societal relevance because it provides timely, evidence-based knowledge on a significant technological change in children’s lives. That is, I am convinced that the nonhuman turn in communication that we are witnessing now will challenge much of what we have done in research on children, media, and communication.
Chiara de JongPhD Candidate
“My name is Chiara de Jong and I work as a PhD candidate at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research. I have a background in Communication and Information Sciences with a focus on learning and development in children. On the CHILDROBOT project I investigate which factors affect children’s acceptance of social robots. Furthermore, I aim to gain more insight into the long-term development of children’s acceptance of social robots. I am particularly interested in the interaction between robots and children because it is a very unique form of interaction. Social robots have an extraordinary impact on people: Although we know that a robot is not alive, we are often inclined to assign certain human characteristics to that robot. However, in the end my biggest motivation is the enthusiastic faces of children when they hear that they can play with a real robot.”
This is Alex Barco and I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) at the University of Amsterdam. My background is in electronics and I have been always very interested in how technology can help children, specially those ones with disabilities. My prior research was about trying to understand how through social robots children with ASD, or with a TBI, or hospitalized children in general, can improve in those things where they have problems. I also focused on how social robots can help during the learning process with children. Within this project we will study the potential effects of the interaction between children and social robots.