Purpose: This paper identifies the main reasons for low uptake of robots in Special Education, obtained from an analysis of previous studies that used robots in the area, and from interviewing Special Education teachers about the topic.
Design/methodology/approach: An analysis of 18 studies that used robots in Special Education was performed, and the conclusions were complemented and compared with the feedback from interviewing 13 Special Education teachers from Spain and UK about the reasons they believed caused the low uptake of robots in Special Education classrooms.
Findings: Five main reasons why Special Education schools do not normally use robots in their classrooms were identified: the inability to acquire the system due to its price or availability; its difficulty of use; the low range of activities offered; the limited ways of interaction offered; and the inability to use different robots with the same software.
Originality/value: Previous studies focused on exploring the advantages of using robots to help children with Autistic Spectrum Conditions and Learning Disabilities. This study takes a step further and looks into the reasons why, despite the benefits shown, robots are rarely used in real-life settings after the relevant study ends. The authors also present a potential solution to the issues found: involving end users in the design and development of new systems using a user-centred design approach for all the components, including methods of interaction, learning activities, and the most suitable type of robots.