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Robots for social training of autistic children

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1 Author(s)
Barakova, E.I. ; Fac. of Ind. Design, Eindhoven Univ. of Technol., Eindhoven, Netherlands

We apply a participatory co-creation process to empower health researchers/practitioners with robot assistants or mediators in behavioral therapies for children with autism. This process combines (a) a user centered design of a platform to support therapists to create and share behavioral training scenarios with robots and (b) acquisition of domain specific knowledge from the therapists in order to design robot-child interaction scenarios that accomplish specific learning goals. These two aspects of the process are mutually dependant and therefore require an iterative design of a technological platform that will make gradual steps towards creating optimal affordances for therapists to create robot-mediated scenarios to the best of the technical capabilities of the robot, i.e. through co-creation. For this purpose an end-user programming environment augmented with learning by demonstration tool and textual commands is being developed. The initial tests showed that this tool can be used by the therapists to create own training scenarios with existing behavioral components. We conclude that this platform comply with the needs of the contemporary practices that focus on personalization of the training programs for every child. In addition, the proposed framework makes possible to include extensions to the platform for future developments.

Published in:

Information and Communication Technologies (WICT), 2011 World Congress on

Date of Conference:

11-14 Dec. 2011