Macquarie University
01whole.pdf (1.62 MB)

Dream Machines? Examining Children’s Thoughts and Feelings About Animals and Toys to Inform Robotic Pet Design

Download (1.62 MB)
posted on 2023-08-17, 11:43 authored by Jean-Noel GeorgeJean-Noel George

Pet companions can positively impact children’s well-being and socio-emotional development. However, various social conditions and material constraints can prohibit many children from having a pet companion. Robotic pets are potentially one way to provide such children with access to benefits similar to living pet companions. Children aged 5 to 11 years participated in this mixed-method study to identify the key elements that underlie children’s engagement with and attachment to animals, toys, and pets, alongside the potential impact of social factors. The findings outline the features most relevant to and best suited for effective robotic pet companions for children.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction -- 2. Literature Review -- 3. Methods -- 4. Discussion -- 5. Conclusion -- 6. References -- 7. Appendix A: Recruitment Poster -- 8. Appendix B: Qualitative Protocols and Strategies -- 9. Appendix C: Questionnaires -- 10. Appendix D: Interview Structure -- 11. Appendix E: Whiteboard Spider Diagrams -- 12. Appendix F: Ethics Clearance

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes

Department, Centre or School

Department of Cognitive Science

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Emily S. Cross

Additional Supervisor 1

Kay Bussey


Copyright: The Author Copyright disclaimer:




152 pages