Educational robots and children’s imagery: a preliminary investigation in the first year of primary school

Open access


This study, within the dual context of media education and the use of educational robots, presents a preliminary investigation relating children’s imagery of robots achieved through the analysis of 44 drawings done by children in the first year of primary school. In addition to identifying a set of analytical criteria to be further investigated, the research shows (i) some sources of children’s imagery about robots, (ii) the difficulties of a specific age group to clearly distinguish between toys, robots and human beings and (iii) some possible indications for educational paths.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Alessandri G. (2015). Didattica e tecnologie. Intersezioni. Complessità coding robotica educativa. Roma: Anicia.

  • Alimisis D. (2013). Educational robotics: Open questions and new challenges Themes in science and technology education VI(1) 63-71.

  • Benitti F.B.V. (2012). Exploring the educational potential of robotics in schools: A sistematic review Computers & EducationLVIII(3) 978-988.

  • Besio S. (Ed.) (2008). Critical factors involved in using interactive robots for education and therapy of children with disabilities. Trento: UNI Service.

  • Bumby K.E. Dautenhahn K. (1999 august) Investigating children’s attitudes towards robots: a case study. Paper presented at the Cognitive Technology Conference USA San Francisco.

  • Cook A.M. & Polgar J.M. (2015). Assistive Technologies: Principles and Practice. St. Louis Missouri: Elsevier/Mosby.

  • Eguchi A. (2014) Educational robotics for promoting 21st century skills. Journal of Automation Mobile Robotics & Intelligent Systems. VIII(1) 5-11.

  • European Parliament (2017). Civil Law Rules on Robotics. Retrieved from

  • Fortunati L. Esposito A. Sarrica M. & Ferrin G. (2015). Children’s knowledge and imaginary about robots International journal of social robotics VII(5) 685-695.

  • Grimaldi R. (ed.) (2015). A scuola con i robot. Innovazione didattica sviluppo delle competenze e inclusione sociale. Bologna: Il Mulino.

  • Jenkins H. Purushotma R. Weigel M. Clinton K. & Robinson A. (2009). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. Cambridge MA: The MIT Press.

  • Lepri C. (2016). Le immagini raccontano. L’iconografia nella formazione dell’immaginario infantile. ETS: Pisa.

  • Marcianò G. (2017). Robot & scuola. Guida per la progettazione la realizzazione e la conduzione di un Laboratorio di Robotica Educativa (LRE). Milano: Hoepli.

  • Pennazio V. (2016). Didattica gioco e ambienti tecnologici inclusivi. Milano: Franco Angeli.

  • Thomaz S. Aglaé A. Fernandez C. Pitta R. Azevedo S. Burlamaqui A. Silva A. & Gonçalves L.M.G. (2009 october) RoboEduc: A Pedagogical Tool to support educational Robotics. Paper presented at 39th ASEE/IEEE frontiers in Education Conference USA Texas San Antonio.

  • Toh L.P.E. Causo A. Tzuo P.W. Chen I.M. & Yeo S.H. (2016). A Review on the Use of Robots in Education and Young Children. Educational Thechnology & SocietyIXX(2) 148-163.

  • Turkle S. (2011). Alone Together. Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. New York: Basic Books.

  • Wing J.M. (2006). Computational thinking. Communication of the ACM ILIX(3) 33–35.

  • Woods S. (2006) Exploring the design space of robots: Children’s perspectives. Interacting with Computers XVIII 1390–1418.

  • Wunenburger J.J. (2003). L’imaginaire. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

Journal information
Cited By
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 664 355 13
PDF Downloads 284 161 9