Proyect name: IROMEC (Interactive Robotic Social Mediators as Companions)
Project date: 2006 – 2009
Description: IROMEC 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.
Motivation: In the past ‘child’s play’ has often been neglected in comparison to educational objectives such as developing mathematical or language skills. However, state of the art research emphasises the important role of play in children’s development, a crucial vehicle to learn about themselves, the environment, and to develop social relationships. IROMEC targets children who are prevented from playing, either due to cognitive or multiple impairments which affect their playing skills, leading to general impairments in their learning potential and more specifically resulting in social isolation from the social environment, including family members and peers. The underlying assumption is that providing tailored means to encourage play using a robotic toy will break down barriers for development through play, fostering individual development up the person’s potential. A clearly user-centred perspective will focus on the needs and requirements of the user groups. IROMEC will conduct research into how robotic toys can be tailored towards becoming social mediators, empowering children with disabilities to play and discover the range of play styles from solitary to social and cooperative play.
Objetives: to empower children with disabilities to prevent dependency and isolation, develop their potential and learn new skills by development of a robot-supported play environment which meets the users' expectations for a safe and reliable, versatile and tailorable, ready to use and affordable system. The main objectives of the project are:
-Addressing the three main aspects of playing (enhancement of “Quality of Life”, enhancement of “Social Inclusion”, enhancement of “Learning and Therapy”) through delivering a social robot system acting as a social mediator in a play environment that can be configured depending on the specific needs of cognitive and multiple disabled children.
-Providing a concrete solution
-Pursuing an active dissemination and exploitation strategy by which primary and secondary users, therapists and educational institutions are early and continuously informed about the product under development.
Role of Risoluta: - Market related issues, exploitation.