Robot Helps Crack Autism CodeBy Toldo, Leslie; Associated Press via abc12.com,
Publication Date: August 20, 2009
Article reports on a robot interfaced with a game which helps children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While the child plays the game, the robot records his or her heart rate, skin temperature, and muscle movements. From those, the robot reads and responds to the child’s mood. If it determines the child is getting stressed out, the robot will change the speed of the game or may play relaxing music. To test the robot, children ranging in age from 13 to 16 years who had been diagnosed with ASD were connected to a variety of sensors and were then asked to play two games: the computer game Pong and a variant of Nerf basketball with the hoop and backboard attached to the end of a moving robotic arm. Researchers found the robot predicted the children’s emotional state correctly more than 80 percent of the time, about equivalent to the ability of an experienced therapist. The robot is believed to work well for children with ASD because it is more predictable and consistent than humans. Scientists are working on creating a smaller version of the robot for use with parents and children at home. The article includes a link to a television news segment showing children interacting with the robot/game.
Published by: Associated Press (Website:http://www.ap.org)
Link to text: http://abclocal.go.com/wjrt/story?section=news/health&id=6975330
Link to video: http://abclocal.go.com/wjrt/video?id=6975342