University of Hertfordshire

By the same authors

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

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

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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 Verlag
Pages198-207
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9783030008253
ISBN (Print)9783030008246
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2018
Event10th International ICT Innovations Conference, ICT Innovations 2018 - Ohrid, Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of
Duration: 17 Sep 201819 Sep 2018

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
Volume940
ISSN (Print)1865-0929

Conference

Conference10th International ICT Innovations Conference, ICT Innovations 2018
CountryMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of
CityOhrid
Period17/09/1819/09/18

Abstract

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.

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