The Experiment: The Effectiveness of a Humanoid Robot for Helping Children Develop Social Skills

  • Kathleen Richardson
Part of the Social and Cultural Studies of Robots and AI book series (SOCUSRA)


This chapter is an ethnographic account of an experiment conducted at a specialist school for children with autism. The students of the school were participants in a small experiment to study the effectiveness of a humanoid robot for developing social skills for children with autism. The experiment failed to show any difference between children who interacted with a robot or a toy crane for the duration of the experiment. The results were shelved and never published as are many experiments that do not show any positive results. This chapter then explores the politics of the ‘experiment’ as a way of knowing about the world, or keeping knowledge hidden.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen Richardson
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of TechnologyDe Montfort UniversityLeicesterUK

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