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Appears in:
Pages: 10682-10688
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.2615

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

REAL WORLD SERVICE LEARNING: EDUCATING UNDERGRADUATE SOFTWARE ENGINEERS BY PROGRAMMING HUMANOID NAO AND PEPPER ROBOTS TO FOSTER SOCIAL INTERACTION DEVELOPMENT FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM

S. Kupferman1, S. Hadfield2, B. Chavez2, C. White2, J. Andrews2, J. Wilde2, W. Valentine2, P. Harrison2, D. Nguyen2, C. Sparkman2, D. Cummings2, M. Hadfield3, J. McMichael3

1Univerity of Colorado (UNITED STATES)
2United States Air Force Academy (UNITED STATES)
3Academy School District 20 (UNITED STATES)
An undergraduate software engineering capstone team in search of a meaningful, high impact service learning project to help children with autism using humanoid robots teamed with the College of Education at another nearby university to develop two new special education robot behaviors to foster social interaction skills development. The resulting interdisciplinary synergy advanced the education of both the software engineering students and the special needs children they served.

The cross-institutional, interdisciplinary team identified an appropriate interaction regiment focused on developing social interaction skills for primary school-aged children with autism. The collaboration leveraged the emerging skills of the computer science, systems engineering, and human factors engineering majors on the software engineering side with special needs education and clinical expertise from the education side to synergistically develop two approaches to support the development of social interaction skills using the Softbank NAO and Pepper robots.

The first approach makes use of an adaptive graphical interface for an education professional to control the NAO robot’s participation in a group conversation aimed at encouraging the primary school-aged child with autism to participate in social interactions including conducting conversations, responding to social cues, and the initiation of new directions for social scenarios.

The second approach explored the autonomous conversational capabilities of the new Pepper robot so that the robot might contribute to social interactions in a more expedient manner. This afforded the software engineering team an opportunity to investigate cutting-edge technologies for human-robot interactions.

Initial testing of both approaches validated earlier research findings that children with autism tend to relate to and readily engage with the NAO robot. Through practice with the robot, the children are then able to extend those engagement skills to interactions with other humans. The preliminary testing also suggested that similar, and potentially even more pronounced, gains may be possible with the Pepper robot.

Attendees to this presentation will be engaged within an interactive format to help them create similar field-based “experiential service learning” opportunities with community partners. Discussion will revolve around how students were given direct experience with issues they are studying in the curriculum and with ongoing efforts to analyze and solve problems in the community, as well as having the opportunity to both apply what they are learning in real-world settings and reflect in a classroom setting on their service experiences. Service learning programs, like the example presented, model the idea that giving something back to the community is an important educational outcome, and that working with community partners is good preparation for citizenship, work, and life.
@InProceedings{KUPFERMAN2018REA,
author = {Kupferman, S. and Hadfield, S. and Chavez, B. and White, C. and Andrews, J. and Wilde, J. and Valentine, W. and Harrison, P. and Nguyen, D. and Sparkman, C. and Cummings, D. and Hadfield, M. and McMichael, J.},
title = {REAL WORLD SERVICE LEARNING: EDUCATING UNDERGRADUATE SOFTWARE ENGINEERS BY PROGRAMMING HUMANOID NAO AND PEPPER ROBOTS TO FOSTER SOCIAL INTERACTION DEVELOPMENT FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.2615},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.2615},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {10682-10688}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Kupferman AU - S. Hadfield AU - B. Chavez AU - C. White AU - J. Andrews AU - J. Wilde AU - W. Valentine AU - P. Harrison AU - D. Nguyen AU - C. Sparkman AU - D. Cummings AU - M. Hadfield AU - J. McMichael
TI - REAL WORLD SERVICE LEARNING: EDUCATING UNDERGRADUATE SOFTWARE ENGINEERS BY PROGRAMMING HUMANOID NAO AND PEPPER ROBOTS TO FOSTER SOCIAL INTERACTION DEVELOPMENT FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.2615
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 10682
EP - 10688
ER -
S. Kupferman, S. Hadfield, B. Chavez, C. White, J. Andrews, J. Wilde, W. Valentine, P. Harrison, D. Nguyen, C. Sparkman, D. Cummings, M. Hadfield, J. McMichael (2018) REAL WORLD SERVICE LEARNING: EDUCATING UNDERGRADUATE SOFTWARE ENGINEERS BY PROGRAMMING HUMANOID NAO AND PEPPER ROBOTS TO FOSTER SOCIAL INTERACTION DEVELOPMENT FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 10682-10688.
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