Robotassisted therapy for children
with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Our research is the exploration of the social effects of human-robot interaction (HRI) on children with ASD, a population that has deficiencies in many types of social behavior. Computers and robots have been shown to be a catalyst for increased social interaction in children with ASD, yet that effect requires further study to be effectively employed as a therapeutic intervention.
This abstract presents an approach for developing socially assistive robot (SAR) systems for use as part of an intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), a population that has deficiencies in many types of social behavior. A central feature of ASD involves difficulties with self-initiation of social behaviors, possibly due to motivational issues (Koegel 2003). Robots have been shown to have promise as potential assessment and therapeutic tools, because children with ASD express an interest in interacting socially with such machines (Werry 2001; Scassellati 2005). Our work is thus motivated by the fact that SAR may hold significant promise for ASD intervention. Related work has studied SAR as a tool for diagnosis (Scassellati 2005) and socialization (Dautenhahn 2000; Kozima 2005; Michaud 2005; Lathan 2007) of children with ASD. However, most explored systems have been Copyright is held by the author/owner(s). David Feil -Seifer Intera ction Lab Comput er Science Depa rtment University of Southern California 941 West 37th Place, SAL 300 Los An geles CA 90089 -0781 Email: dfseifer(a t)usc (dot )edu Maja Mat aricÕ Intera ction Lab Comput er Scie nce Depa rtment University of Southern California 941 West 37th Place, SAL 300 Los An geles CA 90089 -0781 Email: mataric(at)usc(do t)edu
in the form of toys, not humanoid-form social partners, and, importantly, current human-robot interaction (HRI) control architectures do not readily facilitate the complex interactions necessary for therapeutic