As social networking widely spreads among the community, especially among the younger generation, the negative influence created on children has become a serious social concern. Petimo is an interactive robotic toy designed to protect children from potential risks in social networks and the virtual world and it helps them to make a safely connected social networking environment. It adds a new physical dimension to social computing through enabling a second authentication mode, providing extra safety in making friends by physically touching each others robot. Petimo can be connected to any social network and it provides safety and security for children. As a proof of concept, we have developed a 3D virtual world, Petimo-World, which demonstrates all of the realizable basic features with traditional online social networks. Petimo-World stands out from all other virtual worlds with its interesting and sophisticated interactions such as the visualization of a friend's relationships through spatial distribution in the 3D space to clearly understand the closeness of the friendship, personalized avatars and sending of special gifts/emoticons.


Team: Nimesha Ranasinghe, Kening Zhu, Kasun Karunanayaka, Dilrukshi Abeyrathne, Chamari Priyange Edirisinghe, Roshan Lalintha Peiris, Makoto Danjo, Miyuru Dayarathna, Charith Lasantha Fernando, Nancy Lan-Lan Ma,Yukihiro Morisawa, Anusha Indrajith Withana, O. N. N. Fernando, Adrian David Cheok


Dilrukshi Abeyrathne, Chamari Edirisinghe, Nimesha Ranasinghe, Kasun Karunanayaka, Kening Zhu, Roshan Lalintha Peiris, O. N. N. Fernando, Adrian David Cheok, Lan Lan, and Yukihiro Morisawa. "Connected online and offline safe social networking for children", In Computers in Entertainment, 9(2), Article 9 (July 2011), 8 pages. ACM

Nimesha Ranasinghe, O. N. N. Fernando, and Adrian David Cheok. 2011. Petimo: sharing experiences through physically extended social networking. In Proceedings of the International conference on Human interface and the management of information: interacting with information - Volume Part II (HCII'11), Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, 66-74.

Nimesha Ranasinghe, Kening Zhu, Dilrukshi Abeyrathne et al. (2010) Kawaii/Cute Interactive Media, 223-253. In Art and Technology of Entertainment Computing and Communication. 2010. [LINK]

Awards & Achievement

        * First prize for Petimo at InventiON: competition of ideas for inventors, International Innovation Competition in Milan, Italy (Apr 2010)

        * Petimo: Safe Social Networking Robot for children, short listed at the Como for Children (C4C) Competition at the 8th International Conference on Interaction design and children in Como, Italy, June 3 – 5, 2009. IDC ’09.


        * "Get Pet, Ready, go… Online", The Straits Times, Home, 16 June 2009

        * "Cuddly robots aim to make social networks child-safe", NewScientist, 07 May 2010.

        * "Petimo makes social networking fun and safe for children", WIT (Web In Travel), 21 Apr 2010

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