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

3 Citations (Scopus)

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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