CIRCL Workshop: Robots, Young Children, & Alternative Input Methods

January 24-26, 2018, at Northern Illinois University


This two-day invitational workshop brought together researchers in the learning sciences, computer science, engineering, and psychology to review the current status of research on children-robot interaction, discuss theoretical and technical aspects that can support the research, and explore the potential for future research in the area from the social, emotional and cognitive, and educational perspectives.

During the workshop, the researchers shared their expertise and research to inform each other and address core research questions, including:

  • What are the current statuses of research and development efforts in child/robot interaction?
  • What are theoretical perspectives that may guide research on developing child/robot collaborative systems?
  • What are important research issues in engineering assistance for child development with a robot?
  • What technologies are available to design child/robot interaction and collect data to assess the efficacy?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities in developing such technologies and research programs?
  • In what way are the research issues aligned with the NSF goal of Broadening Participation in STEM education and STEM workforce (particularly, the NSF initiative INCLUDES, Human Technology Partnership)?

For more information:


Workshop participants included 22 researchers, 13 doctoral students, 1 postdoctoral researcher, and 4 private industry professionals. Participants’ disciplinary backgrounds included engineering, computer science (vision technology, automatic speech recognition, and computational linguistics), learning sciences, communication, and psychology.

More details about the participants are presented in the Workshop Report and videos of presentations are available at NIU’s Create Center – Workshop on Robots, Young Children, & Alternative Input Methods Workshop page.


Aaron, Kline, Stanford University
Alexander, Ajith, Oxford Wave Research
Alwan, Abeer, UCLA
Breazeal, Cynthia, MIT
Dorsey, Chad, Concord Consortium
Han, Insook, Temple University
Huang, Lixiao, Duke University
Johnson, Laura, Northern Illinois University
Kim, Kyung, Northern Illinois University
Kim, Yanghee, Northern Illinois University
Qi, Xiaojun, Utah State University
Ramani, Karthik, Purdue University
Walker, Marilyn, UC Santa Cruz
Xie, Ying, Northern Illinois University
Yoon, Jiyoon, University of Texas at Arlington


This workshop was funded by CIRCL through its grant from the National Science Foundation. CIRCL is chartered by NSF to support the cyberlearning research community.

Organizing Committee

Yanghee Kim, Chair, Northern Illinois University
Vinci Daro, Stanford University
Insook Han, Temple University
Lixiao Huang, Duke University
Laura Johnson, Northern Illinois University
Xiaojun Qi, Utah State University
Ying Xie, Northern Illinois University
Jiyoon Yoon, University of Texas at Arlington