State of the art research emphasises the important role of play in child development as a crucial vehicle for learning about the physical and social environment, the self, and for developing social relationships. IROMEC targets children who are prevented from playing, either due to cognitive, developmental or physical impairments which affect their playing skills, leading to general impairments in their learning potential and more specifically resulting in isolation from the social environment. IROMEC will investigate how robotic toys can provide opportunities for learning and enjoyment. The developed robotic system will be tailored towards becoming a social mediator, empowering children with disabilities to discover the range of play styles from solitary to social and cooperative play. Robustness, dependability as well as "plug&play" operation of the robot system are specially addressed.
A novel framework for robotic social mediators will be developed and evaluated by means of a dedicated robot setup in the context of therapy and education. The research focus of IROMEC is on the user oriented definition of appropriate play scenarios, development of evaluation methods, definition of robot behaviours and interaction modes, and finally a system development compatible with safety as well as market demands. Outcomes of IROMEC will demonstrate on a conceptual, experimental, and technological level the novel role of a robotic mediator in therapy and education of children who are usually prevented from play. IROMEC aims to set the basis of a new product and service in the area of special education and thus is in line with the focus of the given strategic objective.
IROMEC brings together 8 multidisciplinary partners from pedagogy, psychology, ICT and robotics. This consortium ensures that IROMEC will not only end up answering academic questions but succeeds in producing economical and viable results with a time-to-market of less than two years after project completion.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project
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