The OPAL project is a collaboration between engineering, computer science, psychology, interaction design, and robotics with the aim of building a social robot for studying child-robot interaction.

This project is inspired by the RUBI project at UCSD. Early prototypes have been given the name "Opie" and have been shown to evoke interesting social behaviours from children.

     

The project has many research goals:

  • How can we design and engineer social robots?
  • What are the effects of social (and non-social) robots on interactions with humans?
  • What are the features of a "good" social interaction?
  • What are the effects of social robots on the transfer of learning?
  • How can robots use and share language with children?
  • How to develop a social robot for Indigenous communities?

This project is funded by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL), a research centre that aims to investigate all aspects of language.

Publications:  

Heath, S., Durantin, G., Boden, M., Hensby, K., Taufatofua, J., Olsson, O., ... & Wiles, J. (2017). Spatiotemporal Aspects of Engagement during Dialogic Storytelling Child–Robot Interaction. Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 4, 27.

Worthy, P., Boden, M., Karimi, A., Weigel, J., Matthews, B., Hensby, K., ... & Viller, S. (2015). Children's Expectations and Strategies in Interacting with a Wizard of Oz Robot. In Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Australian Special Interest Group for Computer Human Interaction (pp. 608-612). ACM.

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Wiles, J. et al (2016). Social Cardboard: Pretotyping a social ethnodroid in the wild. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Human Robot Interaction. ACM/IEEE

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Hensby, K. et al (2016). Hand in hand: Tools and techniques for understanding children's touch with a social robot. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Human Robot Interaction. ACM/IEEE

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Rogers, K. et al (2016). Discovering Patterns of Touch: A Case Study for Visualization-Driven Analysis in Human-Robot Interaction In Proceedings of the International Conference on Human Robot Interaction. ACM/IEEE

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Heath, S. et al (2016). Lingodroids: Investigating grounded color relations using a social robot for children. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Human Robot Interaction. ACM/IEEE

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