Ethical considerations in child-robot interactions

Allison Langer, Peter J. Marshall, Shelly Levy-Tzedek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Social robots hold promise in augmenting education, rehabilitative care, and leisure activities for children. Despite findings suggesting various benefits of social robot use in schools, clinics, and homes, stakeholders have voiced concerns about the potential social and emotional effects of children engaging in long-term interactions with robots. Given the challenges of conducting large long-term studies of child-robot interaction (CRI), little is known about the impact of CRI on children's socio-emotional development. Here we summarize the literature on predictions and expectations of teachers, parents, therapists, and children regarding the effects of CRI on children's socio-emotional functioning and skill building. We then highlight the limited body of empirical research examining how CRI affects children's social behavior and emotional expression, and we provide a summary of available questionnaires for measuring socio-emotional constructs relevant to CRI. We conclude with design recommendations for research studies aimed at better understanding the effects of CRI, before social robots become ubiquitous. This review is relevant to researchers, educators, roboticists, and clinicians interested in designing and using social robots with developmental populations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105230
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • Child-robot interaction
  • Human-robot interaction
  • Social robots
  • Socio-emotional development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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