Social Robots for Joint Attention Development in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review

Sani Bozkurt S., Bozkuş Genç G.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF DISABILITY DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION, vol.70, no.5, pp.625-643, 2023 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 70 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/1034912x.2021.1905153
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ASSIA, Child Development & Adolescent Studies, CINAHL, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.625-643
  • Keywords: ASD, autism, autism spectrum disorder, humanoid robot, joint attention, robot, robot application, social robot, CHILDREN, COMMUNICATION
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


With technological developments in the 21(st) century, robot applications have proven to be beneficial in providing some opportunities to help with teaching numerous skills such as joint attention and social skills to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). However, in the studies investigating the effects of robots on joint attention (JA) in children with ASD, contradictory results were reported. On this ground, this study aims to review the recent studies that were conducted with robot applications for the development of JA skills in children with ASD. Thirteen peer-reviewed articles were analysed to gain an understanding of the experimental effect of robot applications. According to the analysis, NAO drew attention as the most frequently used type of robot. It was observed that all JA studies with robots had been conducted in structured settings. Moreover, it was revealed that methodological limitations were making it difficult to draw a definite conclusion about the clinical benefits of robots. It is recommended that further studies should be conducted to increase the use validity of robots and that more studies comparing humans to robot partners, especially in JA interactions, should be conducted to enrich the literature on the subject.