Within the sphere of children's learning and play, the concept of robot and the application of actual robots are undergoing a dramatic expansion. Here the term 'robot' refers to a growing range of interactive devices - including toys, pets, assistants to the disabled, and overtly educational tools - which are being used in ways that are expected to have profound and beneficial effects on how our children develop and grow. Robots for Kids: Exploring New Techlogies for Learning opens with contributions from leading designers and researchers, each offering a unique perspective into the challenge of developing robots specifically for children. The second part is devoted to the stories of educators who work with children using these devices, exploring new applications and mapping their impact.Throughout the book, essays by children are included that discuss their first-hand experiences and ideas about robots. This is an engaging, entertaining, and insightful book for a broad audience, including HCI, AI, and robotics researchers in business and academia, new media and consumer product developers, robotics hobbyists, toy designers, teachers, and education researchers. This book includes contributions by leaders in the fields of human-computer interaction and robotics. Product development stories are told by leading designers and researchers in organizations such as Microsoft, MIT Media Lab, Disney, and Sony. The product application stories are told by educators who are making robots a central part of kids' learning experiences, both in and out of the classroom. It includes essays by kids - some, users of robotic techlogy, and others, designers in their own right.
Allison Druin is assistant professor at the University of Maryland, both in the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies and the College of Education in the Department of Human Development. Her recent work has focused on developing-with children as her design partners-new robotic storytelling technologies. Druin is the editor of The Design of Children's Technology and coauthor of Designing Multimedia Environments for Children (John Wiley & Sons, 1996). Jim Hendler is the Tetherless World Senior Constellation Chair at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he has appointments in the Department of Computer Science and the Cognitive Science Dept. He also serves as the Associate Director of the Web Science Research Initiative headquartered at MIT. Hendler has authored about 200 technical papers in the areas of artificial intelligence, Semantic Web, agent-based computing and high performance processing. One of the inventors of the Semantic Web, Hendler was the recipient of a 1995 Fulbright Foundation Fellowship, is a former member of the US Air Force Science Advisory Board, and is a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and the British Computer Society. He is also the former Chief Scientist of the Information Systems Office at the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), was awarded a US Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Medal in 2002, and is a member of the World Wide Web Consortium's Semantic Web Coordination Group. He is the Editor in Chief of IEEE Intelligent Systems and is the first computer scientist to serve on the Board of Reviewing Editors for Science.