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Robots to Help Children With Autism


Children with autism engage more readily with robots rather than humans, because robots are simple and predictable.

University of Portsmouth researchers are working on a program to develop robots to help children with autism in ways that humans cannot.

Credit: UoP News

Researchers at the University of Portsmouth in the U.K. are working on the Development of Robot-Enhanced therapy for children with AutisM spectrum disorders (DREAM) project, which aims to develop robots to help children with autism in ways that humans cannot.

The DREAM project researchers will design robots that can operate autonomously and help therapists improve the child's social interaction skills, such as turn-taking, imitation, and joint attention.

The researchers plan to develop an autonomous robot that minimizes the therapist's intervention so the therapist can focus more on the child and improve therapeutic outcomes.

In addition, the robot will function as a diagnostic tool by collecting clinical data during therapy.

The goal is to capture and analyze sensor data from the children, including motion/gestures, gaze, facial expressions, sound, and voice, to make the robot understand what the child is doing so they can have a better interaction.

From UoP News
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