Our research focuses on the social aspects of teleoperated androids as new media for human relationships and explores how they can contribute and encourage people to associate with others. We introduced Telenoid, a teleoperated android with a minimalistic human design, to elementary school classrooms to see how children respond to it. We found that Telenoid encourages children to work cooperatively and facilitates communication with senior citizens with dementia. Children differentiated their roles spontaneously and cooperatively participated in group work. In another class, we applied Telenoid to remote communication between schoolchildren and assisted living residents. The children felt relaxed about continuing their conversations with the elderly and positively participated in them. The results suggest that limited functionality may facilitate cooperation among participants, and varied embodiments may promote the learning process of the association with others, even those who are unfamiliar. We propose a teleoperated android as an educational tool to promote socialization.
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