Integration of a Social Robot in a Pedagogical and Logopedic Intervention with Children: A Case Study

Sensors (Basel). 2020 Nov 13;20(22):6483. doi: 10.3390/s20226483.


The effectiveness of social robots such as NAO in pedagogical therapies presents a challenge. There is abundant literature focused on therapies using robots with children with autism, but there is a gap to be filled in other educational different needs. This paper describes an experience of using a NAO as an assistant in a logopedic and pedagogical therapy with children with different needs. Even if the initial robot architecture is based on genericbehaviors, the loading and execution time for each specific requirement and the needs of each child in therapy, made it necessary to develop "Adaptive Behaviors". These evolve into an adaptive architecture, appliedto the engineer-therapist-child interaction, requiring the engineer-programmer to be always present during the sessions. Benefits from the point of view of the therapist and the children and the acceptance of NAO in therapy are shown. A robot in speech-therapy sessions can play a positive role in several logopedic aspectsserving as a motivating factor for the children.Future works should be oriented in developing intelligent algorithms so as to eliminate the presence of the engineer-programmer in the sessions. Additional work proposals should consider deepening the psychological aspects of using humanoid robots in educational therapy.

Keywords: NAO robot; adaptive behavior design; child–robot interaction; logopedic therapy; pedagogical therapy; speech therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Child
  • Educational Technology*
  • Humans
  • Robotics*
  • Social Interaction*