Andromachi Nanou, Dimitris Karampatzakis


This literature review aims to collect systematically peer-reviewed research articles published in scientific journals that focus on the participation of children with disabilities in collaborative educational robotics activities. After systematic research, using three major digital scientific libraries, we full-screened eleven research studies that were implemented in inclusive or special settings and published during the period 2010-2022. These articles were selected as they described in detail the psycho-pedagogical methods that were used by the researchers to foster the participation of children with disabilities in collaborative educational robotics activities. The psycho-pedagogical methods have been categorized and presented critically in relation to the research methods and results. Finally, the discussion section of this review highlights the need of promoting collaborative methods in the context of inclusive educational robotics environments.


Educational Robotics; inclusion; collaboration; autism; developmental intellectual disabilities; neurodevelopmental disorders

Full Text:



Albo-Canals, J., Martelo, A. B., Relkin, E., Hannon, D., Heerink, M., Heinemann, M., Leidl, K., & Bers, M. U. (2018). A Pilot Study of the KIBO Robot in Children with Severe ASD. International Journal of Social Robotics, 10(3), 371–383. DOI:

Bargagna, S., Castro, E., Cecchi, F., Cioni, G., Dario, P., Dell’Omo, M., Di Lieto, M. C., Inguaggiato, E., Martinelli, A., Pecini, C., & Sgandurra, G. (2019). Educational Robotics in Down Syndrome: A Feasibility Study. Technology, Knowledge and Learning, 24(2), 315–323. DOI:

Benitti, F. B. V. (2012). Exploring the educational potential of robotics in schools: A systematic review. Computers & Education, 58(3), 978–988. DOI:

Billard, A., Robins, B., Nadel, J., & Dautenhahn, K. (2007). Building Robota, a Mini-Humanoid Robot for the Rehabilitation of Children With Autism. Assistive Technology, 19(1), 37–49. DOI:

Bishop, D.V.M., (2010). Which neurodevelopmental disorders get researched and why? PloS One, 5(11), e15112. DOI:

Blanchard, S., Freiman, V., & Lirrete-Pitre, N. (2010). Strategies used by elementary schoolchildren solving robotics-based complex tasks: Innovative potential of technology. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2(2), 2851–2857. DOI:

Bruffee, K. A. (1995). Sharing Our Toys: Cooperative Learning Versus Collaborative Learning. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 27(1), 12–18. DOI:

Chaidi, E., Kefalis, C., Papagerasimou, Y., & Drigas, A. (2021). Robótica educacional no Ensino Fundamental. Um caso na Grécia Robótica educativa en Educación Primaria. Un caso en Grecia,10(9), 12.

Di Lieto, M. C., Castro, E., Pecini, C., Inguaggiato, E., Cecchi, F., Dario, P., Cioni, G., & Sgandurra, G. (2020). Improving Executive Functions at School in Children with Special Needs by Educational Robotics. Frontiers in Psychology, 10. DOI:

Fachantidis, N., Syriopoulou-Delli, C. K., Vezyrtzis, I., & Zygopoulou, M. (2020). Beneficial effects of robot-mediated class activities on a child with ASD and his typical classmates. International Journal of Developmental Disabilities, 66(3), 245–253. DOI:

Feil-Seifer, D., & Matari, M. J. (2005). Defining socially assistive robotic. Proceedings of the 2005 IEEE 9th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, ICORR, June 28–July 1, Chicago, USA, 465–468. DOI:

Fridin, M., & Yaakobi, I.Y. (2011). Educational Robot for Children with ADHD / ADD, Architecture Design. Received from

Feil-Seifer, D., & Matarić, M.J. (2005). Defining socially assistive robotics. 9th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, ICORR 2005, 465-468. DOI:

Grant, M. J., & Booth, A. (2009), A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 26, 91-108. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-1842.2009.00848.x

Hampshire, P. K., & Hourcade, J. J. (2014). Teaching Play Skills to Children with Autism Using Visually Structured Tasks. Teaching Exceptional Children, 46(3), 26–31. DOI:

Hedgecock, J., Standen, P. J., Beer, C., Brown, D., & S. Stewart, D. (2014). Evaluating the role of a humanoid robot to support learning in children with profound and multiple disabilities. Journal of Assistive Technologies, 8(3), 111–123. DOI:

Huijnen, C. A. G. J., Lexis, M. A. S., Jansens, R., & de Witte, L. P. (2019). Roles, Strengths and Challenges of Using Robots in Interventions for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 49(1), 11–21. DOI:

Huskens, B., Verschuur, R., Gillesen, J., Didden, R., & Barakova, E. (2013). Promoting question-asking in school-aged children with autism spectrum disorders: Effectiveness of a robot intervention compared to a human-trainer intervention. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 16(5), 345–356. DOI:

Johnson, H., & Hyde, J. (2003). Towards modeling individual and collaborative construction of jigsaws using task knowledge structures (TKS). ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 10(4), 339–387.

Karna-Lin, E., Pihlainen-Bednarik, K., Sutinen, E., & Virnes, M. (2006). Can Robots Teach? Preliminary Results on Educational Robotics in Special Education. Sixth IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT’06), 319–321. DOI:

Kollar, I., Fischer, F., & Hesse, F. W. (2006). Collaboration Scripts – A Conceptual Analysis. Educational Psychology Review, 18(2), 159–185. DOI:

Lauwaert, M. (2008). Playing outside the box – on LEGO toys and the changing world of construction play. History and Technology, 24(3), 221–237. DOI:

Lindsay, S. (2011). Discrimination and other barriers to employment for teens and young adults with disabilities. Disability and Rehabilitation, 33(15–16), 1340–1350. DOI:

Lindsay, S., & Hounsell, K. G. (2017). Adapting a robotics program to enhance participation and interest in STEM among children with disabilities: A pilot study. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 12(7), 694–704. DOI:

Lindsay, S., Kolne, K., Oh, A., & Cagliostro, E. (2019). Children with Disabilities Engaging in STEM: Exploring How a Group-Based Robotics Program Influences STEM Activation. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 19(4), 387–397. DOI:

Lindsay, S., & Lam, A. (2018). Exploring types of play in an adapted robotics program for children with disabilities. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 13(3), 263–270. DOI:

Miguel Cruz, A., Ríos Rincón, A. M., Rodríguez Dueñas, W. R., Quiroga Torres, D. A., & Bohórquez-Heredia, A. F. (2017). What does the literature say about using robots on children with disabilities? Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 12(5), 429–440. DOI:

McDowell, C., Werner, L., Bullock, H. E., & Fernald, J. (2006). Pair programming improves student retention, confidence, and program quality. Communications of the ACM, 49(8), 90–95. DOI:

Miller, D. P., Nourbakhsh, I. R., & Siegwart, R. (2008). Robots for Education. In B. Siciliano & O. Khatib (Eds.), Springer Handbook of Robotics (pp. 1283–1301). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. DOI:

Nanou, A., Tsiomi, E., Oikonomou, A., & Karampatzakis, D. (2022). The Sas Strategy Training for Children with Asd in Inclusive Educational Robotics Activities. Education. Innovation. Diversity, 2(3), 34–52. DOI:

Papakostas, G. A., Sidiropoulos, G. K., Papadopoulou, C. I., Vrochidou, E., Kaburlasos, V. G., Papadopoulou, M. T., Holeva, V., Nikopoulou, V.-A., & Dalivigkas, N. (2021). Social Robots in Special Education: A Systematic Review. Electronics, 10(12), 1398. DOI:

Pivetti, M., Di Battista, S., Agatolio, F., Simaku, B., Moro, M., & Menegatti, E. (2020). Educational Robotics for children with neurodevelopmental disorders: A systematic review. Heliyon, 6(10), e05160. DOI:

Pennisi, P., Tonacci, A., Tartarisco, G., Billeci, L., Ruta, L., Gangemi, S., & Pioggia, G. (2016). Autism and social robotics: A systematic review: Autism and social robotics. Autism Research, 9(2), 165–183. DOI:

Syriopoulou-Delli, C., Deres, I., & Drigas, A. (2021). Intervention program using a robot for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Research, Society and Development, 10(8), e35010817512. DOI:

Tsiomi, E., & Nanou, A. (2020). Cooperative Strategies for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Inclusive Robotics Activities. Society. Integration. Education. Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference, 4, 148. DOI:

UNESCO-IBE (2016). Reaching out to all learners: A resource pack for supporting inclusive education. Geneva: UNESCO IBE. Retrieved from:

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind and society: The development of higher mental processes. Harvard, University Press, Cambridge, MA: Harvard, University Press.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1992). Thought and language (rev. ed.). The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

Wainer, J., Ferrari, E., Dautenhahn, K., & Robins, B. (2010). The effectiveness of using a robotics class to foster collaboration among groups of children with autism in an exploratory study. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 14(5), 445–455. DOI:

Werry, I., Dautenhahn, K., Ogden, B., & Harwin, W. (2001). Can Social Interaction Skills Be Taught by a Social Agent? The Role of a Robotic Mediator in Autism Therapy. In M. Beynon, C. L. Nehaniv, & K. Dautenhahn (Eds.), Cognitive Technology: Instruments of Mind (Vol. 2117, pp. 57–74). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. DOI:

Yuen, T. T., Mason, L. L., & Gomez, A. (2014). Collaborative Robotics Projects for Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Special Education Technology, 29(1), 51–62. DOI:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

This journal is distributed with an international license:

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Online ISSN 2661-5401