Εργαστήριο Πληροφορικής και Ρομποτικής στην Εκπαίδευση και την Κοινωνία

Mapping the characteristics of socially assistive robots with the aim of enhanced cognitive functions and intimacy in humans

Mapping the characteristics of socially assistive robots with the aim of enhanced cognitive functions and intimacy in humans, Funding by: ESPA 2014-2020


The initial aim of this research was to fill the research gap in human-robot interaction (Human Robot Interaction) and characteristics of robots depending on the application and the environment that make people feel familiar, safe, while also supporting their cognitive functions.

The implementation of the project followed five main steps.

  1. The investigation and selection of the characteristics of the robots were tested and accurately described in testing scenarios.
  2. The selection, after a thorough study, of the appropriate cognitive experiments and psychometric tools.
  3. The development of robot software in order to execute scripts.
  4. The implementation of cognitive and psychophysical experiments in controlled environments. 
  5. Completion of experiments, evaluation of results, and publishing high-quality research in international conferences and journals.


A) The characteristics of social interaction and support robots were investigated in the literature and in current robotics technologies. An appropriate classification was created in which the robots were classified, and finally, the ones used in the research were selected.

B) The scenarios for the implementation of the research were designed according to bibliographic applications and actions of related research projects.

C) The research proceeded to the selection of appropriate cognitive experiments and psychometric tools, focusing on human memory, learning and perception regarding human-robot collaboration.

D) The experimental stage of the work was carried out, which was divided into three parts in order to meet all the requirements of the submitted proposal:

  1. Large-scale experimental study on the ideal characteristics of a social robot in the role of teacher. 72 adult participants / future teachers, attended a university-level lecture by the social robot Nao in the role of the teacher (presenting multiple possibilities such as providing feedback, movement, speech, answering questions, etc.). Their choices about the ideal characteristics of the robot to be considered successful in the role were compared with questionnaires (5C) that were respectively given a) to participants who attended the same lecture by a human professor and b) their answers before the experimental process.
  2. A large-scale study was carried out in which the humanoid social robot, Nao, showed different characteristics (personality, happy or professional, strong movements, or very friendly narrative style) in the role of a museum guide. The robot operated individually, in either group of two or three robots talking in unison. The acquisition of knowledge was evaluated, how much each person liked the participants, and with which of them they chose to collaborate again in the future.
  3. Exploration of Daisy Robot’s capability, a socially assistive robot, to motivate children with ASD to verbally communicate with peers of typical development by developing verbal communication skills, to that extent that those skills are generalized after the interventions while interacting with different children of typical development. Six children with ASD were observed previously, during, and after an intervention with the Daisy robot. All six managed to develop and maintain their verbal communication skills towards their social inclusion.


Relevant Publications:


Pliasa S., Velentza AM., Fachantidis N. (2021) The Socially Assistive Robot Daisy Promoting Social Inclusion of Children with ASD. In: Malvezzi M., Alimisis D., Moro M. (eds) Education in & with Robotics to Foster 21st-Century Skills. EDUROBOTICS 2021. Studies in Computational Intelligence, vol 982. Springer, Cham.


Velentza AM., Pliasa S., Fachantidis N. (2021) Future Teachers Choose Ideal Characteristics for Robot Peer-Tutor in Real Class Environment. In: Reis A., Barroso J., Lopes J.B., Mikropoulos T., Fan CW. (eds) Technology and Innovation in Learning, Teaching and Education. TECH-EDU 2020. Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol 1384. Springer, Cham.


Velentza, A.-M., Fachantidis, N., & Pliasa, S. (2021). Which One? Choosing Favorite Robot After Different Styles of Storytelling and Robots’ Conversation. Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 8, 244.