About this Research Topic
Utilizing robots in different areas such as education and cognitive rehabilitation of typically developing children, as well as children with special needs (e.g. children with mental disabilities, autism, ADHD, cancer, dyslexia, hearing problems, etc.), is rapidly expanding worldwide. Using this technology as a modern tool in diverse educational or treatment classes will be unavoidable over the next few years. Many studies so far have indicated the positive aspects of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) platforms for children. For example, cute characteristics of social robots can increase or facilitate effective engagement level and obedience of children with special needs toward teachers/therapists and robots in robot-assisted classes. Moreover, assistant robots could have a catalytic role in making the education and social or cognitive rehabilitation process of children more appealing in friendly environments, and this could increase the attention span of the participants and their tendency to get deeply involved in educational/treatment tasks. Alternatively, educational and therapeutic robots could benefit teachers and clinical supervisors in several ways, such as supporting real-time treatment assessment, as well as keeping records of the children’s performance in robot-assisted sessions.
Although there are lots of studies in the literature that shed light on using robots for educating and rehabilitating children with special needs, there are still many challenges in this field to be addressed. This Research Topic in Frontiers in Robotics and AI aims to gather the latest research addressing different challenges, and positive or negative aspects of human-robot interactions for children with special needs. The authors can consider robot design and appearance, interaction design, artificial intelligence, and control, conducting educational or clinical interventions for children, developing cognitive architectures for social robots, mathematical modeling of participants’ behaviors during HRI, empowering robots to analyze users’ behaviors automatically and then react adaptively, etc. for children with special needs (even across different languages and cultures). We welcome high-quality submissions from authors all over the world to submit their papers.
Full paper submissions include original research or focused review papers. Contributions to this Research Topic may address (but are not limited) to the following aspects of HRI for children with special needs:
• Assessment, diagnosis, and monitoring
• Effects of robots’ design and appearance
• Human-robot interaction design
• Education or intervention (clinical, school, and/or home settings)
• Machine learning algorithms, artificial intelligence, and control
• Developing cognitive architectures for social robots
• Mathematical modeling of participants’ behaviors during HRI
• Evaluation Studies
• Ethical Issues
• Novel applications of robots in education and/or treatment
Keywords: Social Robots, Human-Robot Interaction, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Cancer, Children, Education
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.