Design (Not) Lost in Translation: A Case Study of an Intimate-Space Socially Assistive "Robot" for Emotion Regulation

Katherine Isbister, Peter Cottrell, Alessia Cecchet, Ella Dagan, Nikki Theofanopoulou, Ferran Altarriba Bertran, Aaron J. Horowitz, Nick Mead, Joel B. Schwartz, Petr Slovak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


We present a Research-Through-Design case study of the design and development of an intimate-space tangible device perhaps best understood as a socially assistive robot, aimed at scaffolding children's efforts at emotional regulation. This case study covers the initial research device development, as well as knowledge transfer to a product development company toward translating the research into a workable commercial product that could also serve as a robust "research product"for field trials. Key contributions to the literature include: (1) sharing of lessons learned from the knowledge transfer process that can be useful to others interested in developing robust products (whether commercial or research) that preserve design values, while allowing for large scale deployment and research; (2) articulation of a design space in HCI/HRI (Human Robot Interaction) of intimate space socially assistive robots, with the current artifact as a central exemplar, contextualized alongside other related HRI artifacts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number32
JournalACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction
Issue number4
Early online date31 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • Intimate-space socially assistive robot
  • haptic interaction
  • emotion regulation
  • tangible


Dive into the research topics of 'Design (Not) Lost in Translation: A Case Study of an Intimate-Space Socially Assistive "Robot" for Emotion Regulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this