EMOBIE - A social robot companion for children with anxiety

EMOBIE is a social robot concept and prototype designed to help children who are struggling with anxiety. EMOBIE won 2nd place in the robot design competition at the International Conference on Social Robotics, Paris, France.

Description: EMOBIE is a social robot that provides companionship and comfort to children age 5 to 10 by responding to and reflecting back their emotions, creating an external feedback loop. An additional goal of EMOBIE is to improve communication between children, parents, and therapist by helping children to communicate their thoughts and feelings.

EMOBIE encourages engagement by listening to children's stories (via wireless communication with a storytelling app) and reflecting back their emotions through expression of eyes, stomach colors, arm movements, and sounds.

Emotions that EMOBIE knows.

Emotions that EMOBIE knows.

Design Goals:

  • Fun first - EMOBIE should be a child's new best friend that they will want to carry everywhere they go.
  • Autonomous - To meet goal of companionship, EMOBIE needs to interact with children without an adult operating it.
  • Learnability - EMOBIE learns child's emotional states and what works best to help them to cope with sadness, anxiety, and anger. EMOBIE should be able to learn the child's particular emotional states (e.g. grumpy).
  • Affordable - Materials chosen to make an affordable social robot so it is accessible to more children.

The initial prototype is made to be easily adaptable using Arduino and low-cost prototyping materials.

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