Robotics meets Therapy  Challenges for Robot-Assisted Therapy for Children with Autism

Speaker:  Kerstin Dautenhahn – Hatfield, United Kingdom
Topic(s):  Applied Computing

Abstract

The talk will motivate and illustrate the field of robot-assisted therapy for children with autism. 
Over the past 10 years an increasing number of research laboratories are targeting the domain of robot-assisted therapy – using robots e.g. in the therapy and/or education of children with autism. Autism is a life-long developmental disorder that impacts on communication and social interaction skills. The talk will introduce this field and share my experiences since we started this field in 1998 (Aurora project, http://www.aurora-project.com/). The robots that we have used range from mechanoid to zoomorphic and humanoid designs, and the research has focused on e.g. teaching imitation skills, turn-taking, appropriate tactile interaction or collaborative skills.  The talk will introduce our research in this domain and focus on KASPAR (http://www.herts.ac.uk/kaspar), a robot designed and built in our research group, being used since 2005 in order to target interactions with children with autism that address particular developmental or therapeutic needs of the individual children.  The talk will outline the particular challenges in the domain of companion robots for children with autism, and lessons learnt from this research with implications for the field of Human-Robot Interaction and assistive technology. The talk will also address some of the ethical and societal issues of using robots for children with special needs in general, and children with autism in particular.

About this Lecture

Number of Slides:  30
Duration:  45 or 60 minutes
Languages Available:  English
Last Updated: 

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