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In several countries, social robots are increasingly accessible within homes, particularly in those with pre-school-aged children. However, research on social robots has mostly been conducted in laboratory or classroom settings, and their long-term use has received little attention. Additionally, while there is a growing body of literature on CRI in a variety of domains such as education and health, less is known about the interactions between children and social robots in home settings during daily activities. Conducted during the Covid-19 pandemic, this talk describes a longitudinal mixed-method study examines children's interactions with their home reading companion robot – Luka. Focusing on parental perspectives, we examined how children interact with robots over time and revealed that a social robot with reading as its primary function has the potential to both attract parental buyers and engage children in long term use of the robot’s diverse features. We offer recommendations for social robot designers and product developers targeting younger users.

Dr. Rhonda McEwen