Support from digital technologies and social robotics to subjects with special educative needs

10.Jun - 12.Jun

Cod. H01-19

Course in spanish and english without simultaneous translation

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The Summer Course is sustained by the MSCA-RISE H2020 project CybSPEED (Grant number 777720), which spans until the first of December 2021. This project involves beneficiaries and partners from Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, France, Chile, Japan and Morocco. Its coordinator is the Computational Intelligence Group of the Facultad de Informatica of the UPV/EHU. The general scope of the CybSPEED project is a study of the impact of social robotics in the educational support to children and young adults with special needs. The summer course scope broadens to a perspective that includes other digital technologies, such as smartphones and tablets. The course course explores the boundary between the traditional dramatization techniques, such as the puppet theater (teatar Tsvete) and the innovative interventions by means of anthopomorphic robots.

The target population are the subjects at risk of exclusion that may benefit from these new technologies as a support for their educational process with special needs. This population is composed of children/youg adults with conditions such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), cognitive development deficits, reduced mobility, sensory deficits (auditive), and children in special situations, such as peadiatric-oncological patients. Given the diversity of the target population, their needs are also extremely diverse, so that the way the innovative technologies may be applied to treat them may change substantially among population sectors. For example, ASD subjects may react in quite diverse ways to the same technology, such as an antrhopomorphic robot. Reactions ranging from total repulse to social facilitation. Nowadays, research groups worldwide attempt to assess the impact of the exposure to these technologies on the sensitive children; asking questions such as: is there a novelty effect (i.e. the impact diminishes or dissapears with the habituation to the technology)?, which strategy is more effective for each target population stratum? The course aims to approach these questions addressing a wide audience, including families and caretakers,  students and researchers from education, sociology and cognitive sciences, as well as engineers looking for life changing applications of technology.

The actual summer course proposal include representatives of associations that treat ASD persons (Gerardo Herrero, María Merino), pediatric-oncological patients (Nekane Lekuona, Dorella Scarponi), subjects with sensory disfunction (Ana Lekova) and at risk of exclusion (Lyuba Alboul). The technological aspect is covered by the Computational Intelligence Group (CIG) of the UPV/EHU. Although the summer course is proposed by the CIG, the emphasis of the course is on the social and educational aspects. We aim to present first the actual needs of the target population, and second the evidence that the innovative technologies and the social robotics resources may be of help to them.


To introduce the educative intervention  possibilities offered by the new digital technologies regarding subjects with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Adaptability and personalization of these technologies. Presentation of evidences of their impact found up to this date.

To introduce the potential of social robotics for the development of social habilities from the programming point of view. Study case of young ASD adults. Presentation of evidences and experiences. The programmer point of view means that the subjects build and program the robots for specific purposes. It implies that the subject assumes a creative and managing role, aiming to achieve specific goals, instead of a passive espectator role.

To introduce the ludic, therapeutic and educative intervention using social robotics for subjects at risk of exclusion, pediatric-oncological patients, and children with sensory/motor deficits.

To introduce the attendants to a direct contact and experimentation of the discussed technologies in order to familiarize with them, and to be able to develop a critical assessment of their potential and limitations for the educational interventions.

Activity directed to

  • University students
  • Teachers
  • Professionals
  • All public
  • Researchers


  • Proyecto CybSPEED de la Convocatoria MSCA-RISE-2017 de la Comisión Europea. Dentro del programa de trabajo de este proyecto se contempla explícitamente la realización de un curso de verano abierto al público. Información sobre el proyecto se puede encontr
  • Course
    • Education
    • Teacher training - BG
    • Teacher training - NG
    • Science and technology
  • 10.Jun - 12.Jun
  • Centro Carlos Santamaría
  • Spanish
  • Academic Validity: 30 hours