Using Lego Robots to Estimate Cognitive Ability in Children Who Have Severe Physical DisabilitiesBy Cook. Albert M.; Adams, Kim; Volden, Joanne; Harbottle, Norma; Harbottle, Cheryl; Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 338-346
Publication Date: July 2011
Study explored whether low cost robots provide a means by which children with severe physical disabilities can demonstrate understanding of cognitive concepts. Participants were 10 children aged 4 to 10 years with cerebral palsy and related motor conditions who had widely variable motor, cognitive, and receptive language skills, although all were non-speaking. A Lego Invention “roverbot” was used. Robot programs were developed in a Windows environment using the Lego Robotics Invention System 2.0. Participants controlled the robot through an adapted infrared remote control. During the 4 week intervention, participants carried out a range of functional tasks from single switch replay of pre-stored movements to total control of the movement in two dimensions. The level of sophistication achieved on hierarchically arranged play tasks was used to estimate cognitive skills. Participants performed at one of 6 hierarchically arranged levels from “no interaction” through “simple cause and effect” to “development and execution of a plan.” Teacher interviews revealed that the children were interested in the robot, enjoyed interacting with it, and demonstrated positive changes in behavior and social and language skills following interaction. In some cases, participants were able to display more sophisticated cognitive skills through manipulating the robot than in traditional standardized tests.
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Limited (Website:http://taylorandfrancis.org)
International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (Web Site: http://www.isprm.org )