Social robots as assistants for autism therapy in Iran, A.R.Taheri et al, In Second RSI/ISM International Conference on Robotics and Mechatronics (ICRoM), 2014

Social robots as assistants for autism therapy in Iran

A.R.Taheria , M.Alemi, A.Meghdari, H.R.Pouretemad

aCenter of Excellence in Design, Robot. & Autom. (CEDRA), 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 has been primarily to originate the proper therapeutic scenarios and to implement two interactive humanoid robots as therapy assistants in autism treatment in Iran. To this end, the humanoid robots were programmed and teleoperated via Microsoft Kinect Sensor and PhantomOmni Haptic Robot to elicit reactions consisting of imitation of humans by the humanoid robots and vice versa. In this paper, we elaborate on the therapeutic items that we have designed to improve joint attention and imitation in autistic children through using humanoid robots. Moreover, the fairly promising results of some interventions conducted in a pilot study on four autistic cases will be addressed and discussed. Our research target is to increase social interaction and involve autistic children in dyadic/triadic interactions which seems quite possible due to the findings of the pilot study conducted.

Keywords

Autism Spectrum Disorders, Human-Robot interaction (HRI), Humanoid Robots, Imitation,Joint Attention

In Second RSI/ISM International Conference on Robotics and Mechatronics (ICRoM), 2014

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