Jacobs Foundation Research Fellow

Kristyn Sommer

Griffith University

Research Focus

Kristyn Sommer is a child-robot interaction researcher, and her primary work focuses on exploring how children learn from robots and how children’s relationships with their robotic teachers affects their learning. She aims to identify individual characteristics that influence children’s relationships with robots and their learning from robots to enhance the future of learning for all children. 

My plans for the Fellowship

During my fellowship I will explore how children’s social, emotional, and behavioral engagement with robotic teachers affects their learning from robotic teachers. Furthermore, I will investigate a variety of individual characteristics to identify unique traits that influence children’s ability to relate to and learn from robotic teachers. By exploring individual differences between children and across time, I hope to be able to eventually identify and target ways in which we can improve individual children’s social, emotional, and behavioral engagement with robotic teachers.  

How will my work change children’s and youth’s lives? 

During my fellowship, I will conduct the foundational work exploring what factors influence children’s learning from robotic teachers. By exploring factors unique to individual children as well as across multiple learning encounters between children and robots, we will be able to design future interventions that ensure no child is left behind or disadvantaged on this new technological frontier of learning.