Human-Centered Computing

Department of Computer Science

Industry Collaboration

Facilitating creative play with 3-5 year old children

Industry Partner: The LEGO Group

Robert Robot – facilitates creative play with 3-5 year-olds and LEGO® DUPLO® bricks.

Meet Robert Robot! He’s a fun playmate designed to shape playful experiences by helping children be creative with LEGO® DUPLO® bricks.

Copenhagen. February 14-17, children and families visiting the LEGO® World event in Copenhagen, Denmark will have the chance to meet and play with Robert Robot! Four child-sized playmates will be placed in and around the exhibition hall enabling visitors to hang out and play. Robert Robot asks kids to find and build special creations with LEGO® DUPLO® bricks and challenges them to find special colors or shapes. Kids become physically active as they work together socially with other kids to find and collect the bricks!

Robert Robot is an interactive playmate in the form of a one-meter tall robot. Automatically controlled by a smartphone, he facilitates playful experiences and learning with DUPLO bricks for 3-5 year old children by requesting them to find various bricks. Children drop the bricks into Robert’s toy box, which causes him to say things like “Thank you for helping me! Can you find any blue bricks?” and “Can you find all the animals?” Robert Robot also encourages imaginative pretend play when he performs as different characters such as the cheerful pirate Captain Brick, who immerses children into a thematic universe of sailing and treasure hunting, all revolving around creative play with DUPLO bricks.

While the technology is a playful experiment, and not a real LEGO product, it is a way we can explore the boundaries of what can be done with simple design and creative use of technology. Concept development, ideation and prototyping of Robert Robot and the play experiences for children took part in collaboration with the LEGO Group, Denmark. The project was realized by students and researchers at the facilities of Aalborg University and the results will be demonstrated at LEGO World 2019 in Copenhagen.

Student Design Researchers: Julie Torpegaard: Nicklas Lind: Morten Præst Linnet: Nilan Paramarajah: Line Søndergaard Knudsen:

Project Supervisor: Timothy Merritt, PhD