SnuggleBot: a cuddly companion robot for lonely people to use at home

dc.contributor.authorPassler Bates, Danika
dc.contributor.examiningcommitteeLatulipe, Celine (Computer Science)
dc.contributor.examiningcommitteeTremblay-Savard, Olivier (Computer Science)
dc.contributor.supervisorYoung, James E.
dc.date.accessioned2023-08-23T18:38:58Z
dc.date.available2023-08-23T18:38:58Z
dc.date.issued2023-08-07
dc.date.submitted2023-08-08T00:48:50Zen_US
dc.degree.disciplineComputer Science
dc.degree.levelMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
dc.description.abstractWe designed, prototyped, and deployed a novel companion robot for private in-home use that aims to promote engagement to support people living with loneliness. We identified and explored three key approaches to encourage engagement and provide comfort and prototyped a novel robot aiming to embody these principles: this resulted in SnuggleBot, a novel robot that is physically comforting, socially engaging, and requires care, to provide structure and increase engagement. We deployed our prototype unsupervised for a minimum of 7 weeks (with optional longer involvement up to 6 months) into the homes of seven people who live alone and self-identified as lonely. We reflect on our specific designs and how they promoted engagement and companionship. Our results indicate that robot designs incorporating physical comfort, social engagement, and requiring care have the potential to promote companionship, with many participants showing signs of bonding with the robot. Further, our design strategies were generally successful in that they promoted the behaviours and reactions that we intended. We found that most participants expressed that the robot is comfortable. The robot also promoted animism and engagement. Additionally, participants reported wellbeing benefits because of caring for the robot. This supports future research into robots developed with our design strategies, which can leverage our results to improve on our implementations of the design strategies.
dc.description.noteOctober 2023
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1993/37484
dc.language.isoeng
dc.rightsopen accessen_US
dc.subjectHuman-Robot Interaction
dc.subjectSocial Robots
dc.subjectDomestic Robots
dc.subjectCompanion Robots
dc.titleSnuggleBot: a cuddly companion robot for lonely people to use at home
dc.typemaster thesisen_US
local.subject.manitobano
oaire.awardTitleDiscovery Grant
project.funder.identifierhttps://doi.org/10.13039/501100000038
project.funder.nameNSERC
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