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Dissemination / Publications

 

 

A Case Study in Human-centred Design Methods:
Developing Scenarios for Robot Assisted Play Informed by User Panels and Field Trials Ben Robins, Ester Ferrari, Kerstin Dautenhahn, Gernot Kronreif, Barbara Prazak, Gert-Jan Gerderblom, Francesca Caprino, Elena Laudanna

Abstract
This article describes the user-centred development of play scenarios for robot assisted play, as part of the multidisciplinary IROMEC1 project that develops a novel robotic toy for children with special needs. The project investigates how robotic toys can become social mediators, encouraging children with special needs to discover a range of play styles, from solitary to collaborative play (with peers, carers/teachers, parents etc). This article explains the developmental process of constructing relevant play scenarios for children with different special needs. Results are presented from consultation with panel of experts (therapists, teachers, parents) who advised on the play needs for the various target user groups and who helped investigate how robotic toys could be used as a play tool to assist in the children’s development. Examples from experimental investigations are provided which have informed the development of scenarios throughout the design process. We conclude by pointing out the potential benefit of this work to a variety of research projects and applications involving human-robot interactions.



Robot as a Social Mediator - a Play Scenario Implementation with Children with Autism, Ester Ferari, Ben Robins, Kerstin Dautenhahn

Abstract -- The work described in this paper is part of the IROMEC project1 (Interactive Robotic Social Mediators as Companions). The project recognizes the important role of play in child development and targets children who are prevented from or inhibited in playing, either due to cognitive, developmental, or physical impairments. One of the research questions that guides this project is whether a single robotic toy can be used as a social mediator for children with different special needs, helping them to meet a variety of therapeutic and educational objectives in different developmental areas. The IROMEC project addresses children with autism, mild retardation and severe motor impairment, while this paper specifically focuses on children with autism. An example of one of IROMEC’s play scenarios implemented in user trials with children with autism is described in the paper, using the IROMEC robot prototype. This example considers objectives in different developmental areas relevant to these children.

8th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children IDC2009, Workshop on Creative Interactive Play for Disabled Children, June 2009, Como, Italy




Therapeutic and educational objectives in Robot Assisted Play for children with autism

Ester Ferrari, Ben Robins, Kerstin Dautenhahn

Abstract—The work described in this paper is part of the IROMEC project (Interactive Robotic Social Mediators as Companions) that recognizes the important role of play in child development and targets children who are prevented from or inhibited in playing. The project investigates the role of a robotic toy in therapy and education for children with special needs. This paper specifically addresses the therapeutic and educational objectives related to children with autism. In recent years, robots have already been used to teach basic social interaction skills to children with autism. The added value of the IROMEC robot is that play scenarios have been developed taking children’s specific strengths and needs into consideration and covering a wide range of objectives in children’s development areas (sensory, communicational and interaction, motor, cognitive and social and emotional). The paper describes children’s developmental areas and illustrates how different experiences and interactions with the IROMEC robot are designed to target objectives in these areas.

18th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, (RO-MAN 2009) September 2009, Toyama, Japan




Profiling robot-mediated play for children with disabilities through ICF-CY: The example of the European project IROMEC Serenella Besio, Francesca Caprino, Elena Laudanna

Abstract -- This paper, from the description of the research activities of the ongoing European project IROMEC, discusses the potential role of the brand new version Children and Youth of ICF (International Classification of Functioning and Disability) as an useful resource in the design development and outcomes evaluation of robotic toys used as play mediators in educational and therapy settings with children with physical and/or cognitive impairments. ICF-CY has been used as a methodological framework in users’ needs assessment, in building appropriate task analysis of play activities, in robot requirements definition and in outcomes analysis will be examined. Further and deeper researches are needed to better understand strengths and weaknesses of such an approach.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/m1u0224t5q9169k7/?p=a5d4b07666904e9298249627fc19a3e8π=1

Computers Helping People with Special Needs, Springer Berlin / Heidelberg ISSN 0302-9743





Critical Factors involved in using interactive robots for Play Activities of Children with Disabilities

Serenella Besio, Silvia Dini, Ester Ferrari, Ben Robins

Abstract -- In this paper the authors present the initial results of the study on Critical Factors involved with play for children with disabilities. The European project IROMEC (Interactive Robotic Social Mediators as Companions IST-2005-2.6.1), that began in November 2006, will investigate how robotic toys can become social mediators, encouraging children with disabilities to play and to interact. Some of these children are unable to play autonomously due to their impairment and/or disability. To help these children learn how to play, a wide range of knowledge and a variety of skills are needed: these are the IROMEC Critical Factors, which are designed to be implemented as a useful basis for developing guidelines for teachers and rehabilitation professionals who would like to introduce robotic toys and methodologies in their work.

http://www.booksonline.iospress.nl/Content/View.aspx?piid=7411

In G. Eizmendi, J.M. Azkoitia, G.M. Craddock, Challenges for Assistive Technology, IOS Press, NL.





Analysis of critical factors involved in using interactive robots for education and therapy of children with disabilities

S.Besio, F.Caprino, S. Dini, E.Laudanna, E. Ferrari, P. Marti

Abstract -- This document presents one of the first results of the research carried out inside the IROMEC (Interactive RObotic Social Mediators as Companions, IST-FP6-045356.) Project, a project co-funded by European Commission inside the Information Society Technology activity area of the Sixth Framework Program. It includes and examines all the factors related to the crucial and important points involved in robot mediated playing activities of children with disabilities. The document is intended as a background work to study the possible use and effects of IROMEC as a tool for therapy and education of children with disabilities; as such, it is also a scientific and methodological source not only for IROMEC researchers, but also for teachers, educators and rehabilitation professionals in the field. The term 'Critical Factors' refers here to all the aspects that can influence the development of a robot system acting as a social mediator in a play environment. To better explain, the adjective 'critical' is not used as a synonym of positive or negative, it just means deserving careful consideration and requiring decisions. There may be Critical Factors that have a negative influence, others that yield a positive influence on reaching the project's purpose. Factors that deserve consideration in planning, developing and carrying out robot mediated education and rehabilitation activities addressed to children with disabilities have been clustered around five main headings:

1. Factors related to Play
2. Factors related to the Individual
3. Factors related to the Context
4. Factors related to Technology and Robotics
5. Factors related to Methodology


Following a multidisciplinary approach, each cluster has been studied in-depth within its typical disciplines; factors no. 2 and 3 have been related to the domains and the declaratory statements of the International Classification of Functioning – version for Children and Youth (ICF-CY), to be soon released by the World Health Organisation. The study contains a detailed discussion of each selected Critical Factor with references and a final Checklist of Critical Factors. Of course, factors are strictly interrelated among them: thus, any choice made at one level has consequences on the others. A conceptual map helps the reader in visualizing at least the most important relationships. Making successful robot mediated education and rehabilitation activities involving children with disabilities will mostly depend on such choices and decisions.

http://www.uni-service.it/index.php?page=shop.browse&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=108

Other publications:

  • S. Besio, S. Dini, B., Robins, "Critical Factors involved in using interactive robots", 9th AAATE (Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe) Conference, San Sebastian, Spain, 3-5 October 2007
  • S. Besio, "ICF-CY as a basis to study Critical Factors in using robots to support the play activities of children with motor impairment and autism. First reflections from the IROMEC European project", World Health Organization Conference for the Presentation of the International Classification of Functioning (version Children and Youth), Venezia, Italy, 25/26 October 2007
  • S. Besio, "Meeting occasions for learning. Accessibility of play and toys for the development of any child, of all children, Special session of the Biennial National Congress Handimatica, 30/11/2006 - 02/12/2006, Bologna, Italy
  • Ben Robins, Nuno Otero, Ester Ferrari, Kerstin Dautenhahn, "Eliciting Requirements for a Robotic Toy for Children with Autism - Results from User Panels", 16th International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (IEEE RO-MAN 2007), August 26-29, 2007, Jeju Island, Korea
  • G. Kronreif et al., "Robot and Play", 16th International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (IEEE RO-MAN 2007), August 26-29, 2007, Jeju Island, Korea
  • "Learning and Interaction in Children with Autism", 12 July 2007 at IEEE ICDL 2007, 11-13 July 2007, London, UK
  • Plenary keynote talk about IROMEC and related topics at IEEE ICORR 2007, 10th edition of the International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, 13-15 June 2007, Noordwijk, the Netherlands
  • Presentation of IROMEC and related topics during tutorial on "Autism and Affective-Social Computing" (organised by Rana el Kaliouby, Rosalind W. Picard, Ben Robins, Kerstin Dautenhahn) as part of the Second International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII 2007), September 12-14, 2007, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Presentation of IROMEC and related topics by B. Robbins, GJ Gelderblom and G. Kronreif in course of workshop "Robotic Helpers: User Interaction, Interfaces and Companions in Assistive and Therapy Robotics", 3rd ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, 12-15 March 2008, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Invited talk by Besio S., Caprino F., Laudanna E., Marti P. "IROMEC: a robot for play activities of disable children" (IROMEC; un robot per il gioco del bambino disabile) at seminar "Educational robotics" (Robotica educativa), organised by CKBG (Collaborative Knowledge Building Group) and by the Department of Systematic and Informatics of the University "La Sapienza", Rome, September, the 30th, 2008
  • Several IROMEC presentations by different partners at "Handimatica" (National Exhibition-Convention on advanced technologies, information technology and electronic communications to foster the integration of disabled persons), Bologna, (Italy) 27-29 November 2008
  • Presentation of IROMEC project within an invited talk at the 3rd International Symposium on "Autism Along Lifespan – New Treatment Horizons", symposium at  The Institute for Child Development, Shiba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel, 27-28 February 2008
  • Ben Robins, Ester Ferrari, Kerstin Dautenhahn, "Developing Scenarios for Robot Assisted Play", 17th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, (RO-MAN 2008), 1-3 August 2008, Munich , Germany
  • IROMEC and related topics at keynote presentation "Social and Health Care Robotics", Parliamentary Reception on Robotics entitled "Intelligent Robots in Science and Society", 22 April, 2008, Members' Dining Room, House of Commons, London, 22 April 2008
  • Invited presentation "Therapy: Robotized cognitive, mental and social therapy systems", Workshop "Future Robotics for Healthcare", Road map on „Robotics for Healthcare“ (R4H), 23-24 April 2008, Brussels, Belgium
  • Invited talk about IROMEC and related topics,  4° Convegno "Tecnlogie per l’autonomia dei bambini diversamente abili", Città della Scienza di Napoli, 20/06/2008
  • "Profiling robot-mediated play for  children with disabilities through ICF-CY: The example of the European project IROMEC", presentation by AOSTA at ICCHP’2008, Linz, Austria, 9-11 July 2008
  • Presentation: "IROMEC: un robot per il gioco del bambino disabile", National Conference ROBOTICA EDUCATIVA, 30 September 2008
  • Marti, P. Spaces and design niches, IEEE CIS Newsletter on Autonomous Mental Development, vol. 6, n° 1, April 2009, ISSN 1550-1914.
  • Marti, P. Giusti, L. Lund, H.H. “The role of modular robotics in mediating non verbal social exchanges”. IEEE-Transaction on Robotics, Volume: 25, Issue: 3, 2009, pp 602-613, ISSN: 1552-3098, DOI10.1109/TRO.2009.2020346.
  • Marti, P. Bannon, J.L. Exploring User-Centred Design in practice: Some caveats. Knowledge, Technology & Policy: Volume 22, Issue1 (2009), Page 7-15, DOI: 10.1007/s12130-009-9062-3.
  • Marti, P. Scoppa, A. Palma, V., Paro therapy: potenzialità di un robot zoomorfo come mediatore sociale nel trattamento non farmacologico di bambini con sindrome autistica. ICARE, anno 32°, n.1, gennaio-marzo 2007, ISSN 0394-817X, pp2-6.
  • Marti, P. Giusti, L. A Robot Companion for Inclusive Games: a user-centred design perspective. Submitted to 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Anchorage, Alaska, May 3-8, 2010.
  • Marti, P. Giusti, P. Diversity and participation in user-centred design. Submitted to CHI 2009, The 28th ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 10-15 April 2010, Atlanta, GA, USA.
  • Marti, P. Giusti, L. Pollini, A. Exploring play styles with a robot companion. Proceedings of IEEE RO-MAN 2009, 18th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, 27 September – 2 October 2009, Toyama, Japan.
  • Lund, H. H. Marti, P. Design principles for modular playware. Proceedings of IEEE RO-MAN 2009, 18th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, 27 September – 2 October 2009, Toyama, Japan.
  • Marti, P. Giusti, L. Pollini, A. Rullo, A. Expressiveness in Human-Robot Interaction. Proceedings of the CHItaly conference, June 17-19 2009, Rome, Italy. Published on IxD&A - Interaction Design & Architecture(s), "Design for the Future Experience" N. 5&6, 2009, pp93-98, ISSN 1826-9745, ISBN 978-88-88044-14-9
  • Marti, P. Giusti, L. Moderini, C. Pollini, A. A Robotic Toy for Children with special needs: From requirements to Design. Proceedings of the 11th IEEE International conference on rehabilitation robotics, June 23 - June 26, 2009, Kyoto, Japan.
  • Besio, S. (Ed.) (2009). Methodological Framework to set up educational and therapy sessions with IROMEC. Trento, Italy: Uniservice.
  • Besio, S. (Ed.) (2008a). Analysis of Critical Factors Involved in using interactive Robots for Education and Therapy of children with disabilities. Trento, Italy: Uniservice.
  • Besio, S. (2008b). Tecnologie per giochi possibili: una panoramica di prodotti, esperienze e modelli di lavoro. Biennial National Congress Handimatica, Bologna, Italy, October 27-29.
  • Besio, S. (2008c). ICF-CY come base di studio dei Fattori Critici nel progetto europeo IROMEC: l’uso di robot a supporto di attività di gioco di bambini con disabilità motoria, autismo o ritardo mentale. XVII Congresso AIRIPA, Piacenza, Italy  October 17-18 .
  • Besio, S., Caprino, F., Laudanna, E. (2009). Robots helping children with motor disabilities to reach their learning potential through play: the IROMEC Project experience. II Conference Education For All, Warsaw, Poland, 22-25 September.  
  • Besio, S., Potenza, M.F., Kronreif, G. (2009). Developing the IROMEC robot for play: results from the first experimental trials. X AAATE Conference, Firenze, Italy August 31 –September 2.  In: Emiliani, P.L., Burzagli, L., Como, A., Gabbanini, F., Salminen, A.L. (Eds) Adaptive Technology from adapted equipement to inclusive environments, Amsterdam, Olanda: IOS Press, 159-164.
  • Besio, S., Caprino, F., Laudanna, E. (2009). How to use robots for play in therapy and educational context? The IROMEC methodological proposal. VIII International Conference on Interaction Design and Children IDC2009, Como, Italy, June 3-5.
  • Besio, S., Caprino, F., Laudanna, E. (2008). Profiling Robot-Mediated Play for Children with Disabilities through ICF-CY: The Example of the European Project IROMEC. XI ICCHP Conference, Linz, Austria. In: Miesenberger, K., Klaus, J., Zagler, W., Karshmer, A. (Eds.) Computers Helping People with special needs, Berlin, Germany: Springer, 545-552.
  • Besio, S., Marti, P., Caprino, F., Laudanna, E. (2008). Iromec: un gioco per il bambino disabile. CKBG (Collaborative Knowledge Building Group) Robotica Educativa Conference, Roma, Italy, September 30.
  • Besio, S., Dini, S., Robins, B. (2007). Critical Factors involved in using interactive robots. IX AAATE Conference, San Sebastian, Spagna. In: Eizmendi, G., Azkoitia, J.M., Craddock, G.M. (Eds.) Challenges for Assistive Technology. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: IOS Press, 505-509.
  • Caprino, F., Laudanna, E. (2009) Methodological framework to set up educational and therapy sessions with robotic technology: the IROMEC proposal. X AAATE Conference, Firenze, August 31  - September 2. In: Emiliani, P.L., Burzagli, L., Como, A., Gabbanini, F., Salminen, A.L. (Eds) Adaptive Technology from adapted equipement to inclusive environments, Amsterdam, The Netherlands: IOS Press,
  • Caprino, F., Laudanna, E. (2008). L’ICF-CY come cornice nell’uso del robot per il gioco del bambino disabile. Biennial National Congress Handimatica, Bologna, Italy, October 27-29.
  • Dautenhahn, K., Robins, B, (2007). Learning and Interaction in Children with Autism. VI IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning, London, United Kingdom, July 11-13.
  • El Kaliouby, R., Picard, R.W., Robins, B., Dautenhahn, K. (2007). Autism and Affective-Social Computing. II International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII 2007), Lisbon, Portougal, September 12-14.
  • Giusti, L., Marti, P., Pollini, A. (2008). Progettare robot per bambini disabili. Biennial National Congress Handimatica, Bologna, Italy, October 27-29.
  • Kronreif, G. (2007). Robot and Play. XVI International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (IEEE RO-MAN 2007), Jeju Island, Korea, August 26-29.
  • Kronreif, G. Kornfeld, M., Prazak, B., Mina, S., Furst, M. (2007). Robot Assistance in Playful Environment - User Trials and Results. 2007 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Roma, Italy, April  10-14.
  • Marti, P., Giusti, A., Rullo, A. (2009). Robots as social Mediators: field trials with children with special needs. X AAATE Conference, Firenze, Italy, August  31 –  September 2. In: Emiliani, P.L., Burzagli, L., Como, A., Gabbanini, F., Salminen, A.L. (Eds) Adaptive Technology from adapted equipment to inclusive environments, Amsterdam, The Netherlands: IOS Press, 165-169.
  • Marti, P. (2008). I robot come mediatori di attività di gioco e di scambi sociali tra bambini diversamente abili. IV Convegno Tecnologie per l’autonomia dei bambini diversamente abili, Napoli, Italy, June 20.
  • Robins, B. (2008). A robot for me too? Robotics in the case of autism. Biennial National Congress Handimatica, Bologna, Italy, October 27-29.
  • Robins, B, Ferrari, E., Dautenhahn, K. (2008). Developing Scenarios for Robot Assisted Play. XVII IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, (RO-MAN 2008), Munich, Germany, August 1-3.
  • Robins, B., Gelderblom, G.J., Kronreif, G. (2008). Robotic Helpers: User Interaction, Interfaces and Companions in Assistive and Therapy Robotics. III ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, March, 12-15.