Theoretical vocabularies and styles of explanation of robot behaviours in children

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How do children describe and explain the behaviour of robotic systems? In this paper, some distinctions between different types of explanations, drawing from the philosophy of science literature, are proposed and exemplified by reference to an activity in which primary school children are asked to describe and explain the behaviour of a pre-programmed Braitenberg-like vehicle. The proposed distinctions are also discussed against other studies drawn from the related scientific literature. A qualitative study has provided insights to further refine the analysis described here, through the introduction of other sub-categories of explanation of robotic behaviours.

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