Social interactions in school and office settings traditionally involve few coordinated physical interactions, and most group engagement centers on sharing electronic screens. Wearable robot companions are a promising new direction for encouraging coordinated physical movement and social interaction in group settings. A UC Santa Cruz researcher has developed a wearable social companion that encourages users to interact via physical movement.
A UC Santa Cruz researcher has designed an on-body robot companion, Flippo, that attaches to shoes. Flippo is a robot ecosystem designed to encourage wearers to engage in co-located social interaction. The robots have synergistic needs for connection that require users to engage in social interaction. Social interaction results in reactions from the robot, e.g. light and/or haptic responses.