Francesca Ciardo Agnieszka Wykowska

Social assistive robotics as a tool to enhance socio-cognitive development: Benefits, limits, and future directions

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In human beings, complex socio-cognitive skills develop through social interaction. Nowadays, children are exposed to several types of agents, artificial and not, who, through the interaction can promote and support development. In this work, we firstly discuss the application of socially assistive robots in therapeutic contexts with children. Specifically, we focus on studies conducted on neuro-motor and socio-cognitive rehabilitation in children affected by cerebral palsy or autism, highlighting the advantages and limits of social assistive robotics (SAR). Secondarily, we propose an interdisciplinary approach that combines neurocognitive science methods with robotics in order to develop robots that induce social cognition mechanisms in humans. Finally, we present some guidelines for an interdisciplinary approach to SAR.


  • social assistive robotics
  • child-robot interaction
  • cerebral palsy
  • autism


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