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Expression interface research for talking robot

Emotional interface design for the robot to communicate with kids in an intuitive way.

Role & Duration

UX designer


Cooperate with pm, researchers and three engs


May 2017 - April 2018


Woobo is building an artificial intelligence robot for 4 - 8 years old kids education. Woobo is the startup’s name and also the robot’s name. With Woobo kids can play, learn and interact with it. Except for the robots interactive with kids our team also look a way for parents to get involved in this experience. 


The outcome was designed a expressional interface system to let the robot communicate with kids in intuitive way. For our team this system could also helped the researchers and designers to organize and develop in the future. The expression system with the debut of the robot on the Kickstarter campaign

* To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted and obfuscated confidential information in this case study. The information in this case study is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of Woobo.



At the beginning of the research, I spend a lot of time analyzing the current Woobo expression interface system and well informed the most AI robot products interface design. I found that expression interface is not about Woobo's face, but play the significant role in communicating, interacting and playing with how Woobo delivers the message to children, and how expression interface could create a positive relationship and leading children to trust Woobo as their best friend.

Children’s cognitive skills are still developing, so their reasoning abilities are weaker than those of adults. To help them successfully use an interface, designs should display clear, specific instructions, leveraging kids’ mental models and prior knowledge.

“UX Design for Children (Ages 3-12), 4th Edition | Report by Nielsen Norman Group.” Nielsen Norman Group,

Through finding the different category educational kid's games, I found that the interface for kids should be specific considering the usability and visibility. Usability is thinking about how the interface communicate the information to kids successful, visibility is considering how the design content readable and understandable for kids.

In this case, as our team hoped Woobo would like a friend to play with kids growing up, so the interface should be friendly and used universal language. I inspired from emoji system to enrich Woobo's face content. For example, thermometer, disappointed and tongue emoji. The research part shows the content of expression and will design them later. 

I did research on the products in the market to look for how the robot interact with human and what are the transition between interfaces.

Check out the video to see how kid think about woobo when they play with it.

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