Children’s Development and Assistive Technology
AT for Academics – Early studies completed by the Assistive Technology Lab demonstrate that by using robots, children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy can reveal skills that had not been previously measured. Recent research completed by Dr. Adams explored the use of augmentative communication devices to control Lego robots to access the standard math measurement curriculum. Participants were able to demonstrate their level of understanding of math concepts, increased proficiency and learned new concepts.
AT for Play – The use of AT and robotics provides an opportunity for children with disabilities to interact with their peers and participate in play, an activity often taken for granted with typically developing children. Research completed by the AT Lab has found that children demonstrate positive changes in behavior, social and language skills following robotically assisted play and interaction. Current research being completed by a PhD student in the AT Lab explores robotically assisted play as both a cognitive and motor activity.
AT for Cognitive Development – Research completed by the AT Lab has found that children with severe motor impairment such as cerebral palsy were able to display more sophisticated cognitive skills through manipulating the robot than in traditional standardized tests. The AT Lab is currently replicating the robot-facilitated tasks done by typically developing children with developmentally matched children who have motor impairment such as cerebral palsy. The AT Lab is currently comparing performance of robot-facilitated tasks completed by typically developing children with children who have motor impairments.