Use of Humanoid Robots for Students With Intellectual Disabilities

Use of Humanoid Robots for Students With Intellectual Disabilities

Ayşe Tuna, Emine Ahmetoğlu
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6361-7.ch011
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In parallel with the significant developments in robotics, humanoid robots have become popular recently. It is known that when humanoid robots are used for educational goals, students become more interested in learning activities, develop better situation awareness through exercises and physical activities, and learn more effectively. Therefore, humanoid robots will possibly play a key role in education in the future. Since humanoid robots have enhanced social skills, are able to repeat a particular sequence many times, and provide real-time feedback, they can improve the engagement of students with intellectual disabilities and may find significant acceptance in specific target groups, such as students with autism spectrum disorder. In this chapter, the authors investigate the use of humanoid robots for students with intellectual disabilities and review existing approaches in this domain. In addition, limitations and challenges to the use of humanoid robots for educational goals are discussed. Finally, the authors investigate research challenges in this domain and state future research directions.
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Humanoid Robots In Education

In parallel with the increase in computing power, cost reductions in memory and storage, improvements in battery technologies, and developments in sensing and perception technologies, there has been an increasing interest in the development of humanoid robots. In spite of a certain lack of studies at a large scale on the topic, it is generally agreed that humanoid robots are an exciting and engaging tool for students (Keane, Chalmers, Williams, & Boden, 2016). Although there are many other reasons that justify the use of humanoid robots in education, the most important ones are as follows. First, humanoid robots can move and physically interact with students and the environment. Second, adjustable sensory stimulation can promote better perceptive experience for students. Finally, humanoid robots are generally perceived as independent and intelligent agents by students and therefore they can take play mate roles and mediate activities in cooperative situations without replacing teachers or peers within an activity (Pennazio, 2017). Even basic humanoid robot platforms designed for public use may open up numerous possibilities in terms of interactions in education. The interaction design space can be investigated along three dimensions (Özgür, Lemaignan, Johal, Beltran, Briod, Pereyre, Mondada, & Dillenbourg, 2017).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Student Engagement: The degree of interest, attention, involvement, passion, and optimism that students show while they are learning, and it is an indication of meaningful student involvement.

Real-Time Feedback: A powerful means to establish smooth human-robot interaction.

Anthropomorphism: A phenomenon used to describe the human tendency to see human-like shapes in the environment.

Telepresence: An advanced form of remote control, done by telemetry over wired or wireless links, used in humanoid robotics in which a human operator has a sense of being on location so that the experience resembles virtual reality.

Learning Companion: A comprehensive learning tool that provides a foundation for all learners.

Intellectual Disability: A condition that indicates having below-average general intellectual function and lacking the skills related to independent daily living.

Humanoid Robot: A robot that resembles people in basic form. Generally, it is built with the same basic physical structure and kinetic capabilities as humans, and has cognitive abilities and social interaction skills.

Communication Mediator: A custodian that needs to pay close attention to communication and must strive to model clear communication that supports collaborative action, and be very aware of the challenge.

Repeatability: A robot feature that describes the ability of doing the same task over and over again.

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