Robot Skills of Preschool Children

Linda Poletz1 , Pedro Encarnação3 , Kim Adams1,2 , and Al Cook1

1 Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine
University of Alberta
2 Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital
Edmonton, Alberta
3 Faculty of Engineering
Catholic University of Portugal
Sintra, Portugal


Several studies have demonstrated the potential of robots as assistive tools for play activities. Through the use of robots, children with motor impairments may be able to manipulate objects and engage in play activities as their typically developing peers, thus having the same opportunities to learn cognitive, social, motor and linguistic skills. Robot use can also provide a proxy measure of disabled children’s cognitive ability by comparing their performance with that of typically developing children. This paper reports a study with fifteen typically developing children aged three, four and five years to assess at which ages the cognitive concepts of causality, negation, binary logic and sequencing are demonstrated during robot use.


Assistive robotics; Play; Cognitive development assessment.