From the Wired article Let Your Children Play with Robots:
“Robots can help children become smarter and happier. Javier Movellan, who has spent the better part of the last three decades playing with kids and robots, is sure of it.
Movellan, an associate professor affiliated with UC San Diego’s Machine Perception Laboratory, is a psychologist and a robotics researcher. He studies children’s interactions with robots for two reasons: to better understand childhood development and to build better robots. He has found that emotion and interactivity are more important to kids than humanoid appearance or abstract intelligence.”