Robots learn to play: robots emerging role in pediatric therapy
Howard, Ayanna M.
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There is an estimated 150 million children worldwide living with a disability. For many of these children in the U.S., physical therapy is provided as an intervention mechanism to support the child’s academic, developmental, and functional goals from birth and beyond. Typically, for a physical therapy intervention to be adopted, there must be sufficient evidence-based practices showing the efficacy of the given method in use with the target demographic. With the recent advances in robotics, therapeutic intervention protocols using robots is ideally positioned to make an impact in this domain. Unfortunately, there has not yet been sufficient evidence-based research focused on the use of robots in child-based therapy to result in a full systematic review of this area. As such, in this paper we provide a review of the emerging role of robotics in pediatric therapy, with the goal of summarizing the research that could possibly transition into providing evidence on the efficacy of robotic therapeutic interventions for children.