Robot-mediated interviews: : Do robots possess advantages over human interviewers when talking to children with special needs?
Children that have a disability are up to four times more likely to be a victim of abuse than typically developing children. However, the number of cases that result in prosecution is relatively low. One of the factors influencing this low prosecution rate is communication difficulties. Our previous research has shown that typically developing children respond to a robotic interviewer very similar compared to a human interviewer. In this paper we conduct a follow up study investigating the possibility of Robot-Mediated Interviews with children that have various special needs. In a case study we investigated how 5 children with special needs aged 9 to 11 responded to the humanoid robot KASPAR compared to a human in an interview scenario. The measures used in this study include duration analysis of responses, detailed analysis of transcribed data, questionnaire responses and data from engagement coding. The main questions in the interviews varied in difficulty and focused on the theme of animals and pets. The results from quantitative data analysis reveal that the children interacted with KASPAR in a very similar manner to how they interacted with the human interviewer, providing both interviewers with similar information and amounts of information regardless of question difficulty. However qualitative analysis suggests that some children may have been more engaged with the robotic interviewer.