The Rise of the Robot Therapist

 Social robots appear to be particularly effective in helping participants with behaviour problems develop better control over their behaviour

Romeo Vitelli Ph.D.
Romeo Vitelli Ph.D.

In recent years, we’ve seen a rise in different interactive technologies and new ways  of using them to treat various mental problems.  Among other things, this includes online, computer-based, and even virtual reality approaches to cognitive-behavioural therapy. But what about using robots to provide treatment and/or emotional support?  

A new article published in Review of General Psychology provides an overview of some of the latest advances in robotherapy and what we can expect in the future. Written by Cristina Costecu and David O. David of Romania’s Babes-Bolyai University and Bram Vanderborgt of Vrije Universiteit in Belgium, the article covers different studies showing how robotics are transforming personal care.    

What they found was a fairly strong treatment effect for using robots in therapy. Compared to the participants getting robotic therapy, 69 percent of the 581 study participants getting alternative treatment performed more poorly overall.

As for individuals with autism, research has already shown that they can be even more responsive to treatment using social robots than with human therapists due to their difficulty with social cues.

Though getting children with autism to participate in treatment is often frustrating for human therapists, they often respond extremely well to robot-based therapy to help them become more independent.

 Source: Psychology Today

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Leave a Reply