Robotic assistance for children with Autism has been studied for more than a decade. Thanks to the research, there are multiple commercial robots available that are specifically adapted to assist the learning development of Autistic children.
The research has also been crucial in its understanding of the knock-on benefits of Robotic assistance. For instance, not only does the student increase their engagement with the robot as a learning resource, but they also increase their engagement with their teachers and even their classmates.
This is believed as Robot-Assisted Instruction (RAI) can lead to:
Firstly engaging with a robot encourages a triangular interaction between the robot, student, and the teacher.
Secondly, the robot can allow the student to feel more comfortable with communication generally, increasing the likelihood of successful interactions between the student and teacher, even after they have finished interacting with the robot.
In order to successfully develop this beneficial learning environment, it is important that the interactions between Robots and students are fun. This is achieved by Pivotal Response Treatment, a form of behavioral therapy that utilizes play to increase a student’s desire to learn.
Therefore, the use of robots as a starting point for the development of basic but fundamental social interactions, such as interpersonal communication, is a game-changer in the educational community.