Imperial College London

Professor Yiannis Demiris

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Professor of Human-Centred Robotics, Head of ISN



+44 (0)20 7594 6300y.demiris Website




1011Electrical EngineeringSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Ros, R and Oleari, E and Pozzi, C and Sacchitelli, F and Baranzini, D and Bagherzadhalimi, A and Sanna, A and Demiris, Y},
doi = {10.1007/s12369-016-0356-9},
journal = {International Journal of Social Robotics},
pages = {599--617},
title = {A motivational approach to support healthy habits in long-term child–robot interaction},
url = {},
volume = {8},
year = {2016}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - We examine the use of role-switching as an intrinsic motivational mechanism to increase engagement in long-term child–robot interaction. The present study describes a learning framework where children between 9 and 11-years-old interact with a robot to improve their knowledge and habits with regards to healthy life-styles. Experiments were carried out in Italy where 41 children were divided in three groups interacting with: (i) a robot with a role-switching mechanism, (ii) a robot without a role-switching mechanism and (iii) an interactive video. Additionally, a control group composed of 43 more children, who were not exposed to any interactive approach, was used as a baseline of the study. During the intervention period, the three groups were exposed to three interactive sessions once a week. The aim of the study was to find any difference in healthy-habits acquisition based on alternative interactive systems, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the role-switch approach as a trigger for engagement and motivation while interacting with a robot. The results provide evidence that the rate of children adopting healthy habits during the intervention period was higher for those interacting with a robot. Moreover, alignment with the robot behaviour and achievement of higher engagement levels were also observed for those children interacting with the robot that used the role-switching mechanism. This supports the notion that role-switching facilitates sustained long-interactions between a child and a robot.
AU - Ros,R
AU - Oleari,E
AU - Pozzi,C
AU - Sacchitelli,F
AU - Baranzini,D
AU - Bagherzadhalimi,A
AU - Sanna,A
AU - Demiris,Y
DO - 10.1007/s12369-016-0356-9
EP - 617
PY - 2016///
SN - 1875-4791
SP - 599
TI - A motivational approach to support healthy habits in long-term child–robot interaction
T2 - International Journal of Social Robotics
UR -
UR -
VL - 8
ER -