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Children’s Imaginaries of Human-Robot Interaction in Healthcare

Department of Social Psychology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
Automatic Control Department, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, UPC BarcelonaTech, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 970;
Received: 22 March 2018 / Revised: 8 May 2018 / Accepted: 9 May 2018 / Published: 12 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Technology Enabled Health and Care)
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This paper analyzes children’s imaginaries of Human-Robots Interaction (HRI) in the context of social robots in healthcare, and it explores ethical and social issues when designing a social robot for a children’s hospital. Based on approaches that emphasize the reciprocal relationship between society and technology, the analytical force of imaginaries lies in their capacity to be embedded in practices and interactions as well as to affect the construction and applications of surrounding technologies. The study is based on a participatory process carried out with six-year-old children for the design of a robot. Imaginaries of HRI are analyzed from a care-centered approach focusing on children’s values and practices as related to their representation of care. The conceptualization of HRI as an assemblage of interactions, the prospective bidirectional care relationships with robots, and the engagement with the robot as an entity of multiple potential robots are the major findings of this study. The study shows the potential of studying imaginaries of HRI, and it concludes that their integration in the final design of robots is a way of including ethical values in it. View Full-Text
Keywords: imaginaries; social robots; children’s hospital; participatory process; ethics of care imaginaries; social robots; children’s hospital; participatory process; ethics of care

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Vallès-Peris, N.; Angulo, C.; Domènech, M. Children’s Imaginaries of Human-Robot Interaction in Healthcare. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 970.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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