Developing scenarios for robot assisted play
This paper describes the user-centred development of play scenarios for robot assisted play, as part of the IROMEC project that develops a novel robotic toy for children with special needs. The project investigates how robotic toys can become social mediators, encouraging children with special needs to discover a range of play styles, from solitary to collaborative play (with peers, carers/teachers, parents etc). This paper presents the developmental process of constructing relevant play scenarios for children with different special needs. This process is driven by a) a comprehensive literature review that is related to play activities of children from different target user groups with existing technology, consultation with panel of experts (therapist, teachers, parents) and b) by the result of experimental investigations of user requirements in trials with children with special needs. An important step (reported here) towards the development of the final play scenarios is the development of Outline Play Scenarios – a set of abstract scenarios that reflect the users' requirements and which are not related to any specific technological solution. The general methodological approach, as well as the outline play scenarios, may benefit the development of scenarios for other human-robot interaction research in robot assisted play and related areas. In future, these outline scenarios will be further developed to reflect and utilise the specific functionalities to be implemented in the new IROMEC robot and its different modules.