How have you found being part of the team bringing Purrble to life, and how do you feel about exhibiting it at the London Design Biennale?
It’s been exciting being part of the King’s team working with Purrble. It really is a conversation starter; when people ask what I do, I get to say “part of my job is seeing whether a robot can help young people with their emotions”. That tends to grab people’s interest pretty quickly!
For me, Purrble comes to life when I speak to young people who have engaged with our studies and use the toy in their daily lives. Our recent work has been with highly anxious students and minority youth who have a history of self-harm.
Speaking with participants who have had Purrble for a long time and seeing them use it to help them regulate their own emotions is a wonderful feeling. Stroking Purrble so they’re better able to ground themselves and stop negative emotions taking over in that moment is a really emotionally impactful and important part of this work for me.
It's incredible having Purrble be part of the London Design Biennale. First, being able to showcase the device and our research in the area to the public. Second, I love interactive exhibits so helping to include additional sensory, tangible aspects to the Biennale is great! Purrble at the Biennale might be particularly exciting for children, which is one of the key areas of research one of the fantastic PhD students in the team, Nikki Theofanopoulou, has explored. She’s found that Purrble can be helpful for children to manage communication with parents around emotions. So, fingers crossed, Purrble will draw young people in and empower them to start conversations about their emotions.