How to Build a Supervised Autonomous System for Robot-Enhanced Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors/others:Esteban, Pablo G. (Vrije Universiteit Brussel); Baxter, Paul (Plymouth University ); Belpaeme, Tony (Plymouth University ); Billing, Erik (University of Skövde); Cai, Haibin (University of Portsmouth); Cao, Hoang-Long (Vrije Universiteit Brussel); Coeckelbergh, Mark (De Montfort University); Costescu, Cristina (Babeș-Bolyai University); David, Daniel (Babeș-Bolyai University); De Beir, Albert (Vrije Universiteit Brussel); Fang, Yinfeng (University of Portsmouth); Ju, Zhaojie (University of Portsmouth); Kennedy, James (Plymouth University ); Liu, Honghai (University of Portsmouth); Mazel, Alexandre (Softbank Robotics Europe); Pandey, Amit (Softbank Robotics Europe); Richardson, Kathleen (De Montfort University); Senft, Emmanuel (Plymouth University ); Thill, Serge (University of Skövde); Van de Perre, Greet (Vrije Universiteit Brussel); Vanderborght, Bram (Vrije Universiteit Brussel); Vernon, David (University of Skövde); Yu, Hui (University of Portsmouth); Ziemke, Tom (University of Skövde)
Abstract:Robot-Assisted Therapy (RAT) has successfully been used to improve social skills in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) through remote control of the robot in so-calledWizard of Oz (WoZ) paradigms.However, there is a need to increase the autonomy of the robotboth to lighten the burden on human therapists (who have to remain in control and, importantly, supervise the robot) and to provide a consistent therapeutic experience. This paper seeks to provide insight into increasing the autonomy level of social robots in therapy to move beyond WoZ. With the final aim of improved human-human social interaction for the children, this multidisciplinary research seeks to facilitate the use of social robots as tools in clinical situations by addressing the challenge of increasing robot autonomy. We introduce the clinical framework in which the developments are tested, alongside initial data obtained from patients in a first phase of the project using a WoZ set-up mimicking the targeted supervised-autonomy behaviour. We further describe the implemented system architecture capable of providing the robot with supervised autonomy.
Number of pages:21
Date of publication:2017
Journal title:Paladyn : Journal of Behavioral Robotics
Peer reviewed:true
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Publication Type:Article