Robots in education and care of children with developmental disabilities : a study on acceptance by experienced and future professionals

CONTI, Daniela, DI NUOVO, Santo, BUONO, Serafino and DI NUOVO, Alessandro (2016). Robots in education and care of children with developmental disabilities : a study on acceptance by experienced and future professionals. International Journal of Social Robotics. (In Press)

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Official URL: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12369-01...
Link to published version:: 10.1007/s12369-016-0359-6

Abstract

Research in the area of robotics has made available numerous possibilities for further innovation in the education of children, especially in the rehabilitation of those with learning difficulties and/or intellectual disabilities. Despite the scientific evidence, there is still a strong scepticism against the use of robots in the fields of education and care of people. Here we present a study on the acceptance of robots by experienced practitioners (specialized in the treatment of intellectual disabilities) and university students in psychology and education sciences (as future professionals). The aim is to examine the factors, through the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) model, that may influence the decision to use a robot as an instrument in the practice. The overall results confirm the applicability of the model in the context of education and care of children, and suggest a positive attitude towards the use of the robot. The comparison highlights some scepticism among the practitioners, who perceive the robot as an expensive and limited tool, while students show a positive perception and a significantly higher willingness to use the robot. From this experience, we formulate the hypothesis that robots may be accepted if more integrated with standard rehabilitation protocols in a way that benefits can outweigh the costs.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Communication and Computing Research Centre
Identification Number: 10.1007/s12369-016-0359-6
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2016 10:34
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2016 00:09
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13394

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