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SnuggleBot: A Novel Cuddly Companion Robot Design

Loneliness is an increasing problem in today’s world, especially during the current pandemic when people are finding themselves increasingly isolated. Social robotics research has highlighted how robots can be designed to support people and improve their mood and general wellness. However, we do not yet see widespread social companion robots in homes. In this project, we took a constrained design approach to developing a novel cuddly companion robot, focusing on simple and deployable technologies, while aiming to support people’s wellbeing by helping with loneliness. We had three design goals that are simultaneously feasible and align with supporting wellness: the robot should be physically comforting, socially engaging, and require people to care for it. We present a simple prototype cuddly companion robot that implements these goals using simple, off-the-shelf technologies.

Danika Passler Bates, James E. Young. 2020. SnuggleBot: A Novel Cuddly Companion Robot Design. In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Human-Agent Interaction (HAI’20), November 10-13, 2020, Virtual Event, NSW, Australia. ACM, 3 pages. https://doi.org/10.1145/ 3406499.3418772

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James E.Young

James E.Young