Patricc: A platform for triadic interaction with changeable characters

Omer Gvirsman, Yaacov Koren, Tal Norman, Goren Gordon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

12 Scopus citations


While social robots for education are slowly being integrated in many scenarios, ranging from higher-education, through elementary school and kindergarten, the use case of robots for toddlers in their homes has not gained much attention. In this contribution, we introduce Patricc, a robotic platform that is specifically designed for toddler-parent-robot triadic interaction. It addresses the unique challenges of this age group, namely, desire for continuous physical interaction and novelty. Patricc's unique design enables changing characters by using dress-able puppets over a 3D-printed skeleton and the use of physical props. A novel authoring tool enables robot behavior and content creation by non-programmers.We conducted an evaluation study with 18 parent-toddler pairs and compared Patricc to similar tablet-based interactions. Our quantitative and qualitative analyses show that Patricc promotes significantly more triadic interaction, measured by video-coded gaze, compared to the tablet and that parents indeed perceive the interaction as triadic. Furthermore, there was no novelty-induced significant change in task-oriented behaviors, when toddlers interacted with two different characters consecutively. Finally, parents pointed out the benefits of changeable puppet-like characters over tablets and the appropriateness of the platform for the target age-group. These results suggest that Patricc can serve as the first gateway of toddlers to the emerging world of social robots.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHRI 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781450367462
StatePublished - 9 Mar 2020
Event15th Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction, HRI 2020 - Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Mar 202026 Mar 2020

Publication series

NameACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
ISSN (Electronic)2167-2148


Conference15th Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction, HRI 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • English as Second Language
  • Parent child robot
  • Toddler robot interaction


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