Developing a social robotic companion for stress and anxiety mitigation in pediatric hospitals
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Cynthia L. Breazeal.
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The potential value of using social robot has started to be explored in the fields of education, eldercare and health management for the past decade. However, there has not been much research in how robots can socially engage in order to reduce negative affects of patients in pediatric context. This thesis introduces the Huggable robot that was made to mitigate stress and anxiety of child patients at a hospital and take a role of social and emotional advocate for them during hospital stay. The mechanism of the hardware and software system is illustrated extensively throughout the thesis, followed by the description of the experimental study design that compares the impact of three different interventions (a plush teddy bear, virtual Huggable on a screen and the robotic Huggable) on child patients' levels of mood, stress and pain. Insights from pilot sessions showed that people were able to bond with the Huggable robot emotionally and socially well and other activities that would help patients build higher self-efficacy for enduring medical procedures are proposed. The recruitment process for potential subjects has begun at the hospital site and the formal experiment will be executed shortly.
Thesis: M. Eng., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 2014.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 115-120).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.