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Social Robots in Special Education
In recent years, social robots have become part of a variety of human activities, especially in applications involving children, e.g., entertainment, education, companionship. The interest of this work lies in the interaction of social robots with children in the field of special education.
2.1. NAO Robot
2.2. Kaspar Robot
2.3. Lego Mindstorms
2.4. iRobiQ Robot
2.5. Iromec Robot
2.6. Alice Robot
2.7. Probo Robot
2.8. KiliRo Robot
2.9. Zeno Robot
2.10. Miscellaneous Robots
|Robot Name||Robot Type||Ref.||Impairments||Robot Role||Interaction|
|NAO||Humanoid||||ASD, multiple impairments, cerebral palsy, hearing impairments, oncological disorders||Proactive companion, assistive intervention tool, social mediator, therapeutic assistant||Imitation, therapeutic games, free play sessions, teaching joint attention, learning sessions|
|Kaspar||Humanoid||||ASD, multiple impairments, Down syndrome||Game partner||Unconstrained interaction, tactile interaction through tactile play scenarios, games|
|||Multiple impairments, cerebral palsy||Main interaction||Working sessions, workshops (program robot to solve problems), games|
|iRobiQ||Humanoid||||ASD, multiple impairments||Main interaction||Story intervention, social interaction|
|Iromec||Non-Humanoid||||ASD, multiple impairments, Down syndrome||Companion and teacher assistant||Play scenarios, triadic interaction, imitation|
|Alice||Humanoid||||ASD||Game partner||Game, triadic interaction|
|||ASD||Main interaction||Storytelling, game|
|||ASD||Lower stress levels of the children, improve the interaction of the teacher||Pronouncing letters and dancing, free interaction, learning activities|
|Zeno||Humanoid||||ASD||Social mediator, assistant||recognize emotions in a game scenario, stimulus-reinforcement|
|||ASD||Main interaction||Interactive and therapy sessions|
|Rero||Humanoid||||ASD||Main interaction||Interaction modules|
|Cozmo||Non-Humanoid||||Multiple impairments||Main interaction||Games|
|||Multiple impairments||Main interaction||Free interaction|
|||ASD||Main interaction||Mixed play activities|
|Astro||Non-Humanoid||||ASD||Main interaction||Therapy sessions|
|QTrobot||Humanoid||||ASD||Interview partner||Storytelling, ask questions, imitation games|
|InMoov||Humanoid||||ASD||Teacher assistant||Sign language learning|
|Ifbot||Non-Humanoid||||ADHD||Collaborative learning||Wizard of Oz, main interaction|
|||ASD||Gives feedback to the children||Learning/reversal learning task|
|||ASD||Treatment assistive tool||Imitation games|
|Kinetron||Humanoid||||Cerebral palsy||Rehabilitation, precise movements with specified speed and force.||Games|
|||ASD||Elicit social interaction and host of social perception reasoning to children||Triadic interaction with the child and a teacher|
|Queball||Non-humanoid||||ASD||Therapeutic tool||Social interaction, play|
|Robovie R3||Humanoid||||Hearing impairments||Teacher assistant||Sign language learning|
|SPELTRA||Non-humanoid||||Multiple impairments||Main interaction||Speech exercises|
|Teo||Non-humanoid||||Multiple impairments, Down syndrome||Main interaction||Free play|
|Troy||Humanoid||||ASD||Treatment assistive tool||Social communication|
Table 3. Main reported outcomes and challenges of some of the examined studies.
|||ASD||Sessions positively affected their walking, speaking and handwriting; autism severity and parental stress decreased, social skills increased and stereotyped behaviors improved.||A small number of participants and no control group, children were not mature enough, potential effects of other classes, heterogeneous autism severity on children, unpredicted behaviors during sessions, engineering and technical issues, the small number of sessions.|
|||ASD||The use of the NAO robot showed significant improvement in several aspects of learning behaviors, confirming the confidence level for the techniques used.||Not reported.|
|||ASD||Reduction in anxiety and increase in compliance with instructions.||Not reported.|
|||ASD||Distrust task: the independent-sample Welch t-test showed a significant difference in overall distrust performance between the ASD (M = 7.70, SD = 2.62) and TD groups (M = 9.35, SD = 0.67. TD children were more likely than children with ASD to distrust the robot who offered incorrect information.
Deception task: the overall performance analysis of the deception task also found a significant difference in the overall deception performance between the ASD (M = 6.70, SD = 3.64) and TD (M = 9.55, SD = 1.19) groups, indicating that TD children were more likely to deceive the robot than children with ASD.
|Did not use a within-subject design to compare the same participants with human and robot conditions.
Although there is no significant difference in the mean ages between the two ASD groups, the age difference of six months could still represent different neurodevelopmental patterns in children, which could affect their interactions with robots and humans.
The anthropomorphic thinking for the human condition was not investigated; thus, it is not clear whether the interaction progress would affect children’s anthropomorphic thinking answers.
To study the regional difference of the performance of this study, and to replicate these findings in more cities and counties.
|||Multiple disabilities||The results obtained show that children can adapt quickly to the robot, and in the case of phonemic area, an immediate improvement.
Helped to address the educational, cognitive, physical and social needs of the children, engaging youth with disabilities in a robotics program.
|Three main improvements were identified for this study, based on its challenges: (1) to scale the research and to repeat it in more sites, (2) to increase the number of female children and (3) to generalize the designed experiments to children with other disabilities, since the authors realized that STEM learning for children with various disabilities may have different meanings and is an area worthy of further exploration.|
|||Multiple disabilities||Children were engaged in the activity from the very beginning of the session.||The appearance and behaviors did not evoke an agent with its inner state and intentionality. Issues are mainly related to the functional aspect of the visual interface, design of the physical appearance of the robot and its faces.|
|||Multiple disabilities||Helped to address the educational, cognitive, physical and social needs of the children.||The research was conducted at only one site. The girls were under-represented in the program.|
|||Multiple disabilities||“No response” count decreases and flattens out with improvement. The “correct response” count consistently increases. These counts are consistent with the increase of total directives over time. The results for subject 3 are inconclusive. Another subject made considerable progress according to the SLP and SPED teacher.||Not reported.|
|||Multiple disabilities||The Wilcoxon signed-rank test showed that for the group as a whole, ratings were significantly higher when working with the robot.||There was a small amount of bias that may have influenced the teachers’ ratings. There were more people present in the classroom than when working with the robot and there was also the researcher and a camera.|
|||Multiple disabilities||No positive changes for the Sensory developmental area were recorded. The motor developmental area was the only one that did not report any negative changes.||To extend this preliminary study.|
|||Multiple disabilities||Some children had the highest increase on the variable “communication with Teo”, while others had a high decrease. For four children, there was an increase in some variables, while there was a strong decrease in two children. The variable “manipulation of Teo” had a decrease for all children except for two of them. Additionally, the variables “externalization of needs”, “positive emotions” and “negative emotions” showed a positive trend in the second session in both groups of children.||Causality relationships are hard to measure.|
|||Multiple disabilities||Improvements in distinguishing the cards and overall behavior.||Not reported.|
|||Multiple disabilities||The mean score of IPPA before the sessions was 11.8, and the mean score after the sessions was 8.8.||Not reported.|
|||Multiple disabilities||Analysis of the data from the pre- and post-test questionnaires; all items were compared with each other in order to evaluate possible improvements in the developmental target areas.||The ability to speak and understand the language was vital for the children. Study data are preliminary.|
|||Multiple disabilities||The three students became more confident and willing to engage in conversation after interacting with the robot over a period of time.||Not reported.|
|||Multiple disabilities||They confirmed the lasting positive change by gross observation.||One boy did not like the big eyes or the slight drive noise.|
|||Multiple disabilities||All groups in this experiment improved their knowledge and skills between the pre-test and the post-test. The interaction with the robot was more efficient in improving functional knowledge and skills. Students’ IQ levels showed an improvement.||Not reported.|
|||Multiple disabilities||Children successful at the end of the therapy. Two children with profound ID did not benefit from robot-assisted therapy. All children increased the time spent imitating the robot.||The results of this study only indicate the underlying potential of research in this field.|
|||Cerebral palsy||All children liked the sessions with the Rehabilitation Robot. The children wanted him to be present during their other sessions.||Not reported.|
|||Cerebral palsy||The robot misinterprets children with the speech impediment.||Not reported.|
|||Cerebral palsy||Scoring based on Rasch analysis. During intervention, all children had an increase in self-control, specifically the items decides, modifies, initiates and transitions.||The Lego Invention robot is not 100% accurate in its movements.|
|||ADHD||Learning time (min:sec): without robot: 15:28, 12:49;
with robot: 18:05, 13:45.
Running time: without robot: 6 and 5 times;
with robot: 7 and 9 times.
|||Hearing impairments||The children of beginner’s level preferred to play with NAO first. Their average error rates are smaller in the games played with R3 than NAO in the first games, and total error in both games.||The robots, due to their hands, did not correctly sign one of the words.|
|||Down syndrome||Participants had a higher percentage of engagement with the Lego Mindstorm than with the NAO. In the fourth participant, there was no difference in percentage engagement between the two robots. In terms of percentage errors, there was no difference between the two robots in all four participants.||The learning objectives were limited to those that could be carried out with both robots.|
|||Down syndrome||The child was more interactive with the experimenter and the robot during the sessions with the Kaspar robot.||Not reported.|
|||Oncological disorders||The motivation was assessed using three measures based on the Fun Toolkit.||Not reported.|
The entry is from 10.3390/electronics10121398
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