Getting Engaged: Assisted Play with a Humanoid Robot Kaspar for Children with Severe Autism

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Autism is a developmental disability defined as deficits in social communication and interaction and presence of restricted, repetitive behaviors, interests and activities. A recent study from April 2018, estimates autism’s prevalence to be 1 in 59 children. The symptoms are manifested as continuum or spectrum, from mild to severe manifestations, demanding different degrees of support in the daily life. Children diagnosed with autism may benefit from early interventions when adjusted to their specific needs. The aim of the study described in this paper was to explore the possible added value of the humanoid robot Kaspar as an intervention tool, in therapeutic and educational purposes in children with autism or robot-assisted play in the context of autism therapy in a hospital setting. This paper provides case studies evaluation of some interaction aspects (i.e. learning basic emotions (happy and sad) and social skills (greetings) etc.) between two young children with severe form of autism and Kaspar. An observational analysis of the skills and the behavior of the children was undertaken across the one year trials. They interacted very fast and quite spontaneously with Kaspar which made a solid ground for achieving our goals-social communication skills as greetings, social interaction skills as eye gaze, learning emotions etc. Our preliminary conclusion is that children are learning in this robot-assisted play, enjoy interaction with a robot, gain and learn quick new knowledge, show much more communication, initiative and proactivity, improve their behavior and generalize some of the learned information in real life.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationICT Innovations 2018. Engineering and Life Sciences
    Subtitle of host publication10th International Conference, ICT Innovations 2018, Ohrid, Macedonia, September 17–19, 2018, Proceedings
    EditorsSlobodan Kalajdziski, Nevena Ackovska
    PublisherSpringer Nature
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Electronic)9783030008253
    ISBN (Print)9783030008246
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2018
    Event10th International ICT Innovations Conference, ICT Innovations 2018 - Ohrid, Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of
    Duration: 17 Sept 201819 Sept 2018

    Publication series

    NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
    ISSN (Print)1865-0929


    Conference10th International ICT Innovations Conference, ICT Innovations 2018
    Country/TerritoryMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of


    • Autism
    • Child-robot interaction
    • Robot assisted play


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