Brenda Littler

BSc mathematics and humanities, MSc human-computer interaction

Brenda Littler

PhD student

Department: School of Health and Related Research

Faculty: Medicine, Dentistry and Health

Research expertise

  • User experience and research

  • Applied research

  • Board member on the Advisory Board Team for the Mathematical Science Department at the University of Essex




I have a BSc in mathematics and humanities from the University of Essex, and a MSc in human-computer Interaction from the University of Nottingham. I am currently working on my PhD with the University of Sheffield, and my study is about introducing social robots into the Sheffield Children's Hospital to reduce anxiety and distress in paediatrics patients. It will be done by using social robots as a tool to distract and act as a companion. Social robots are autonomous robots that interact and communicate with humans.

In recent years social robots have been used to promote and support mental health, and my focus is on children who are visiting the hospital. My research is a collaboration between the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Children's Hospital and Sheffield Robotics. I have a strong background in teaching mathematics, and I have been running an organisation called I'm Strong for the past six years. I'm Strong seeks to, in a fun way, support and educate children who spend a large amount of time in hospital.

Current research projects

  • Social robots

  • Paediatrics patients

  • Use of social robots in hospital environments