Papers e pubblicazioni internazionali

Pubblicazioni scientifiche internazionali

  • Journal of educational technology & society Volume 18, Number 4 (2015)
    A Robot-Partner for Preschool Children Learning English Using Socio-Cognitive Conflict

    Autori: Elvis Mazzoni, Martina Benvenuti
    This paper presents an exploratory study in which a humanoid robot (MecWilly) acted as a partner to preschool children, helping them to learn English words. In order to use the Socio-Cognitive Conflict paradigm to induce the knowledge acquisition process, we designed a playful activity in which children worked in pairs with another child or with the humanoid robot on a word-picture association task involving fruit and vegetables. The analysis of the two experimental conditions (child-child and child-robot) demonstrates the effectiveness of Socio-Cognitive Conflict in improving the children?s learning of English. Furthermore, the analysis of children’s performances as reported in this study appears to highlight the potential use of humanoid robots in the acquisition of English by young children.


  • 2016 IEEE Symposium on Computers and Communication (ISCC) Messina, Italy (June 27-2016 to June 30-2016) pp: 185-189 LINK (2016)
    MecWilly in your pocket: On evaluating a mobile serious game for kids

    Catia Prandi, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University di Bologna, Italy
    Silvia Mirri, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University di Bologna, Italy
    Paola Salomoni, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University di Bologna, Italy
    Elvis Mazzoni, Department of Psychology, University di Bologna, Italy
    This paper presents a mobile serious game, which exploits the Socio-Cognitive Conflict (SCC) by means of a game with the aim of supporting preschool and primary school children in understanding two important concepts: (i) topographical orientation, and (ii) recycling. In fact, an important competency that children deal with is the topographical orientation, particularly as regards the relativity of the objects positions with respect to a specific point. To reach this goal we have designed and developed a serious game for mobile devices (e.g. tablets), where kids need to move a character in a grid, with the aim of helping it in associating specific garbage to the right recycling container (taking into account the relative position of the character and of all the objects in the grid). Such a character represents a humanoid robot named MecWilly. We have conducted a first assessment of our serious game by involving six preschool and primary school kids. The first result we have obtained show that kids were very interested in playing such a game and in experiencing more game levels. Further experimentations have been already planned and will be conducted in three primary schools, stressing the SCC by contrasting the mobile serious game with a similar version of the game played by interacting with humanoid robots.
  • MecWilly: un robot alla scuola d’infanzia (2015)
    Autori: Elvis Mazzoni, Martina Benvenuti
    E’ possibile utilizzare un robot umanoide (MecWilly) come partner di gioco per bambini che frequentano la scuola d’infanzia? L’esperienza di seguito riportata descrive l’utilizzo del conflitto socio-cognitivo finalizzato all’apprendimento di compiti di way-finding e sensibilizzazione al riciclo dei rifiuti in bambini di 4 anni. L’obiettivo è quello di far collaborare i bambini tra di loro e con MecWilly (a coppie) per verificare se e quanto un robot umanoide possa risultare efficace nel favorire l’apprendimento della conoscenza spaziale.
  • A Bridge for Autism – MecWilly as Conjunction of the Autistic’s Child World and the Social World (2013)
    This research paper speaks about the humanoid robot MecWilly. A description of the robot’s design features as well as his human-robot interaction capabilities with autistic children will be discussed. Special emphasis is placed on a few studies highlighting social interaction between MecWilly and several children with autism. In addition, the paper discusses several humanoid robots that are currently being used in studies concentrating on improving social interaction abilities in autistic children.
  • Un robot alla scuola dell’infanzia per esplorare le diversità (2012)
    Relazione finale del progetto esplorativo svolto all’interno di una scuola dell’infanzia, durato 5 mesi. I bambini hanno potuto esplorare il concetto di diversità attraverso il robot umanoinde MecWilly.

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