About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6990-6997
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain

NAO AS AN ASSISTANT IN ASD THERAPY SESSIONS: THE CASE OF JOE

I. Kartapanis, A. Ioannou, P. Zaphiris

Cyprus University of Technology (CYPRUS)
This study aimed to explore the potential value of a humanoid robot -- NAO -- in assisting second language learning for an autistic child. We report findings from a single case – a high functioning autistic child.

By the end of the twentieth century, research had begun to utilize robotics in the therapy of ASD. The research is mainly focused on young children and their interaction with robotic equipment. A variety of robotic designs and processes has been explored such as, robotic classes, robotic animals and doll shaped and other humanoid robots. Dautenhahn (1999) introduced the idea of robots as social mediators to ASD children and launched a long term study on the field called the «Aurora Project». Since then, a few researchers have tried to promote skills such as communication, social interaction, and creative play through robotic equipment (e.g., Giannopulu & Pradel, 2010; Wainer et al., 2010). One of the first efforts by Dautenhahn (1999) built on the assertion that ASD children do not like anything unpredictable. By using the robot as an assistant, you eliminate all of the unpredictable behaviors, since it can perform the same behavior repeatedly and minimize the expressive movements, thus creating a predictable environment in which these children can learn and thrive (Dautenhahn, 1999). Research in the area of humanoid robots and their application in autism therapy is relatively limited but growing. The majority of these studies evaluate human-robot interactions in non-therapeutic settings, as robots are not yet advanced enough to carry out autonomous interactions during therapy. This study aimed to explore the potential value of a humanoid robot -- NAO -- in assisting second language learning for an autistic child.

Participant in the study was a 10-year old, Greek-speaking child, Joe, diagnosed with relatively high functioning ASD. The child attended therapies at the Cyprus Autism Association where one of the investigators worked as a therapist. We used the NAO by Aldebaran Robotics – a 58cm tall robot that exhibits human-like features. Since NAO has been released for research and development, there has been a great interest for its use for the treatment of ASD (Ismail et al., 2012; Shamsuddin et al., 2012; Tapus et al., 2012).The study was conducted during four consecutive therapy sessions with Joe. The interaction with NAO lasted 25-30 minutes per session, during which Joe played “Animal Game” with NAO and the therapist. In this game – designed by Aldebaran as part of the Autism Solution for Kids suite – NAO asks the child to find a specific animal from a deck of cards and show it to him. NAO calls the animals in English. When the animal is correct, NAO says “Bravo” and makes a cheerful sound. If wrong, NAO says “that’s not right! Let’s try again”. The therapist had a supportive role, providing English-to-Greek translation as needed and encouraging Joe to respond and keep trying. A learning curve for Joe was observed in interacting with NAO over the first two sessions. During sessions 3 and 4, Joe did not seek for a translation and the therapist did not interfere during the game. In session 3, Joe made a couple of mistakes, while no mistakes were made in session 4. More observations based on detailed video data analysis suggest that NAO and the “Animals Game” can be effective in promoting communication and interaction between the therapist and the child during a language learning activity.
@InProceedings{KARTAPANIS2015NAO,
author = {Kartapanis, I. and Ioannou, A. and Zaphiris, P.},
title = {NAO AS AN ASSISTANT IN ASD THERAPY SESSIONS: THE CASE OF JOE},
series = {9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-5763-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {2-4 March, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {6990-6997}}
TY - CONF
AU - I. Kartapanis AU - A. Ioannou AU - P. Zaphiris
TI - NAO AS AN ASSISTANT IN ASD THERAPY SESSIONS: THE CASE OF JOE
SN - 978-84-606-5763-7/2340-1079
PY - 2015
Y1 - 2-4 March, 2015
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2015 Proceedings
SP - 6990
EP - 6997
ER -
I. Kartapanis, A. Ioannou, P. Zaphiris (2015) NAO AS AN ASSISTANT IN ASD THERAPY SESSIONS: THE CASE OF JOE, INTED2015 Proceedings, pp. 6990-6997.
User:
Pass: