“Sequencing Matters”: Investigating Suitable Action Sequences in Robot-Assisted Autism Therapy

Baraka, Kim and Couto, Marta and Melo, Francisco S. and Paiva, Ana and Veloso, Manuela (2022) “Sequencing Matters”: Investigating Suitable Action Sequences in Robot-Assisted Autism Therapy. Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 9. ISSN 2296-9144

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Social robots have been shown to be promising tools for delivering therapeutic tasks for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). However, their efficacy is currently limited by a lack of flexibility of the robot’s social behavior to successfully meet therapeutic and interaction goals. Robot-assisted interventions are often based on structured tasks where the robot sequentially guides the child towards the task goal. Motivated by a need for personalization to accommodate a diverse set of children profiles, this paper investigates the effect of different robot action sequences in structured socially interactive tasks targeting attention skills in children with different ASD profiles. Based on an autism diagnostic tool, we devised a robotic prompting scheme on a NAO humanoid robot, aimed at eliciting goal behaviors from the child, and integrated it in a novel interactive storytelling scenario involving screens. We programmed the robot to operate in three different modes: diagnostic-inspired (Assess), personalized therapy-inspired (Therapy), and random (Explore). Our exploratory study with 11 young children with ASD highlights the usefulness and limitations of each mode according to different possible interaction goals, and paves the way towards more complex methods for balancing short-term and long-term goals in personalized robot-assisted therapy.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Eprints AP open Archive > Mathematical Science
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email admin@eprints.apopenarchive.com
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2023 07:41
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2023 05:45
URI: http://asian.go4sending.com/id/eprint/767

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