Existing Robotics Technologies for Implementation of Special Education

Existing Robotics Technologies for Implementation of Special Education

Roman Zahariev Zahariev (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria) and Nina Valchkova (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7879-6.ch003
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Collaborative robots (Cobots) are described from the point of view of the cognitive processes underlying the perception and emotional expression of learners based on individual human interacting with non-humanoid robots. The chapter describes a project that is aimed at the development and prototyping of mobile cognitive robotic system designed for service and assistance to people with disabilities. In creating this robot called “AnRI” (anthropomorphic robot intelligent) the experience from building the previous one was used, and it was used in the project Conduct Research into the Adoption of Robotic Technologies in Special Education by Children, Young People, and Pedagogical Specialists. It is described as a device of the robot and realization of cognitive processes to integrate knowledge-related information from sensors, actuators, and multiple sources of information vital to the process of serving people with disabilities.
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The first service applications of the mobile robots were very successful and soon the robotic community become aware of the great future of this new branch of robotics – service robotics, stating that their positions promises to be even stronger than those of the industrial ones in the near future. At the beginning of service robotics they were developments mostly of single purpose (specialized) mobile robots able to be used only for specific tasks. Many designers and companies today are changing their design and production strategies in service robotics towards modularization in order to become more flexible and competitive on the market (Bjoern M., 2015).

As stated in the Cybernetics of Norbert Wiener (Wiener N., 1961), man is a purposeful system, the behavior of which is determined by the set of tasks. The process of successful pursuit and achievement of the set goals, without prejudice to the pre-set restrictions, is determined to a large extent by the learner's desire and interest. The learner's interests are a powerful stimulus in the processes of education, learning the information on the path of pursuing the strategic task (Smith, P., 2007). At the modern stage of human society development, with the introduction of new ultramodern technologies, including robotics, it is possible to challenge the interest of the learners, thereby enlivening the perception of such important information in the process of education. It is possible to use the Service Robots like Assistant Teachers in the process of special education (Kaburlasos, V.G., Dardani, Ch., Dimitrova, M., & Amanatiadis, A. 2018).

Using better and better cheap sensors and sensor systems, robots become easily adaptable to a large variety of industrial processes. The simple mobile robots called in the industry as Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV’s) have entered the production systems firmly and have helped the creation of the Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS) and later on the Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM). Giving to the AGV’s some more sensors and intelligent functions, they become the first’s service robots operating in warehouses, shops, supermarkets etc. The degree of intelligence of the universal mobile robots, developed for R&D and scientific applications by the world leading universities and laboratories, is growing very fast (GNU ARM, 2015). This is possible with the development of modern microprocessor based control systems, and thanks to the use of sophisticated yet comparatively cheap sensors (like mono and stereo, colour CCD video-systems, laser based sensors and a large variety of other types) and remarkable achievements in the software (Zahariev R., N.Valchkova., 2004).

Data from the US Census Bureau Statistical Brief of 1993 showed that over 34 million Americans had difficulty performing functional activities. Of this number, over 24 million were considered to have severe disabilities. Every year more and more people become disabled in a way which minimizes their use of upper extremities. These can be motor dysfunctions due to accidents, disease, or genetic predispositions (Mitchell R. L., 2012).

The field of Rehabilitation Robotics has emerged in an attempt to increase the quality of life and to assist in the activities of daily living. Rehabilitation Robotics addresses assistive technologies as well as the traditional definition of rehabilitation: increasing or expanding the individual’s mental, physical, or sensory capabilities. The primary focus of Rehabilitation Engineering and robotics is to increase the quality of life of individuals through increasing functional independence and decreasing the costs associated with the assistance required by the individual (Scassellati B., H.Admoni, & M.Matarić, 2012).

Robotic aids used in these applications vary from advanced limb orthosis to robotic arms. These devices can help in everyday activities for persons with severe physical disabilities limiting their ability to manipulate objects by reducing their dependency on caregivers (Serpanos, D., 2015).

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