Clinical Application of Humanoid Robots in Playing Imitation Games for Autistic Children in Iran, A.R.Taheri et al, Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2014

Clinical Application of Humanoid Robots in Playing Imitation Games for Autistic Children in Iran

A.R. Taheria, M. Alemiaabd, A. Meghdaria, H.R. PourEtemadc, S.L. Holderreadb

a Social Robotics Laboratory,(CEDRA), Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran 

b Languages and Linguistics Center, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran 

c Center for Treatment of Autistic Disorders, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran 

d Faculty of Foreign Languages, Islamic Azad University, Tehran-North Branch, Tehran,Iran

Abstract

Autistic children are often impaired in initiating and responding to Joint Attention. In recent years, there has been an increase in the application of robots in diagnosis and treatment of autism. The purpose of the current research is primarily to originate the proper therapeutic scenarios and to implement two interactive humanoid robots as therapy assistants in autism treatment in Iran. In this paper, our focus is specifically on developing the necessary tools to improve joint attention and imitation in autistic children. To this end, the humanoid robots were programmed and teleoperated via Microsoft Kinect Sensor and Phantom Omni Haptic Robot to elicit reactions consisting of imitation of humans by the humanoid robots and vice versa. Our research target was to increase social interaction and involve autistic children in dyadic/triadic interactions.

Published by Elsevier Ltd, 2014.

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