Robots supporting play for children with physical disabilities: Exploring the potential of IROMEC

Renée J.F. Van Den Heuvel, Monique A.S. Lexis, Rianne M.L. Janssens, Patrizia Marti, Luc P. De Witte

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    3 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: Play is essential for children's development. Children with severe physical disabilities often experience problems engaging in play. In rehabilitation and special education for children with physical disabilities play-like activities and play for play's sake are important. OBJECTIVE: The current study aimed at examining the possibilities of using the IROMEC robot in rehabilitation and special education for children with severe physical disabilities. METHODS: A mixed methods approach, using individual interviews, two rounds of focus group interviews, a questionnaire and a final session to reach consensus, was used to examine the match between the goals in therapy and special education and the IROMEC robot. RESULTS: The existing play scenarios of IROMEC have the potential to support play for children with severe physical disabilities, especially in the domains of movement functions, learning and applying knowledge, communication/interpersonal interactions and relationships, and play. CONCLUSIONS: The current study helped to build a body of evidence to the possibilities of the IROMEC robot. The results of this study can be used to further develop meaningful robotic play interventions for children with severe physical disabilities.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)109-120
    Number of pages12
    JournalTechnology and Disability
    Volume29
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2017

    Keywords

    • children
    • physical disabilities
    • play
    • rehabilitation
    • Robot
    • special education

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