The impact of social robots (Social Assistive Robot- SAR) on the development of symbolic game and imitation skills in students with ASD

Postgraduate Thesis uoadl:2940758 4 Read counter

Κατεύθυνση Τεχνολογίες της Πληροφορίας και της Επικοινωνίας για την Εκπαίδευση
Library of the School of Education
Deposit date:
Marathaki Konstantina
Supervisors info:
Φειδάκης Μιχαήλ, μέλος Ε.ΔΙ.Π., Τμήμα Ηλεκτρολόγων και Ηλεκτρονικών Μηχανικών, Πανεπιστήμιο Δυτικής Αττικής
Πατρικάκης Χαράλαμπος, Καθηγητής, Τμήμα Ηλεκτρολόγων και Ηλεκτρονικών Μηχανικών του Πανεπιστήμιο Δυτικής Αττικής
Original Title:
Η χρήση κοινωνικών ρομπότ (Social Assistive Robot- SAR) για την ανάπτυξη δεξιοτήτων συμβολικού παιχνιδιού και μίμησης σε μαθητές με Διαταραχή Αυτιστικού Φάσματος (ΔΑΦ)
Translated title:
The impact of social robots (Social Assistive Robot- SAR) on the development of symbolic game and imitation skills in students with ASD
The present study examined the correlation that can be developed among the Symbolic Play,
the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the Social Robots. Nowadays, ASD is the most
common neurodevelopmental disorder. Children with ASD experience deficits in social
interaction that includes play skills, appearing in unusual quality and quirkiness. Playing is a
key factor in children’s development. When children play, they experience “real-life” and
develop physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively. Social robots form a modern resource that can become an important tool, offering new possibilities in the educational process. The present study investigates whether the use of a humanoid social robot (NAO, 6
th generation, SoftBank Robotics) can develop or improve functional play and pretending play skills in low functional students with ASD. To answer the research question, a qualitative research has been accomplished in which four variables were studied: (a) eye contact, (b) attention, (c) imitation, and (d) engagement. A scripted lesson plan was developed with SMART goals based on ASD student’s Curriculum Program’s theme of symbolic play. Five students (2 girls and 3 boys, aged 7-10 years) of the Special Primary School for Children with Autism of Piraeus, were requested to interact with NAO. Six activities were designed, and similar applications were developed on the Choregraphe software platform (ver. After the proper preparation of the students, each one of them individually met with NAO for three sessions. Before and after the interventions, the students' playing skills were observed and evaluated. The results show that during the interventions, all five students made spontaneous eye contact with the NAO. Moreover, NAO attracted children’s attention. Children got involved in a functional play and imitated some behaviors presented by NAO. Physical guidance and encouragement were essential for the engagement. After the completion of the interventions, the students showed pretend play. Activities that contained interaction, enhanced the engagement between students and NAO. Activities that combined sound and movement, enhanced eye contact and attention. Finally, it seems that the frequency of imitation is directly related to the students' familiarity with the subject of the activity.
Main subject category:
Education - Sport science
autism spectrum disorder (ASD), symbolic play, pretend play, social robots, NAO, educational program
Number of index pages:
Contains images:
Number of references:
Number of pages:
ΜΔΕ_ ΜΑΡΑΘΑΚΗ (5550) ΠΜΣ ΤΠΕΕ ΤΕΑΠΗ.pdf (4 MB) Open in new window


49 MB
File access is restricted.