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Robotic Coaches Delivering Group Mindfulness Practice at a Public Cafe

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Conference Object

Change log

Abstract

Group meditation is known to keep people motivated and committed over longer periods of time, as compared to individual practice. Robotic coaching is a promising avenue for engaging people in group meditation and mindfulness exercises. However, the deployment of robotic coaches to deliver group mindfulness sessions in real-world settings is very scarce. We present the first steps in deploying a robotic mindfulness coach at a public cafe, where participants could join robot-led meditation sessions in a group setting. We conducted two studies with two robotic coaches: the toy-like Misty II robot for 4 weeks (𝑛 = 4), and the child-like QTrobot for 3 weeks (𝑛 = 3). This paper presents an exploratory qualitative analysis of the data collected via group discussions after the sessions, and researcher observations during the sessions. Additionally, we discuss the lessons learned and future work related to deploying a robotic coach in a real-world group setting.

Description

Keywords

robotic coach, human-robot interaction, mental well-being, meditation, mindfulness, public space, group interaction

Journal Title

ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction

Conference Name

HRI '23: ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction

Journal ISSN

2167-2148

Volume Title

Publisher

ACM
Sponsorship
EPSRC (2505818)
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