Robótica-Autismo Project started in 2009 from a partnership between University of Minho (UM) and APPACDM of Braga (Portuguese Association of Parents and Friends of Mentally Retarded Citizens).
This research project aims the application of robotic platforms as a way to improve the social life of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In particular, the aim is to improve the skills of interaction, communication, and emotion recognition with the environment and with others.
Several worldwide researchers have been dedicated to the study of the influence of the use of robots in the development of cognitive and behavioral skills in children with ASD. However, we are still at an early stage of research and we are still trying to understand which are the most adequate and effective characteristics of the robots to interact with this specific target group.
Currently, there are being designed and studied new ways to interact with children with ASD at school age, using robots with greater capabilities. The use of robotic platforms can be a viable method to interact with children with ASD, in a tentative to allow the children to leave "their world" and to respond to stimuli generated by the robot, consequently breaking the routine. They can be a social support to motivate children, socially educate them and beyond that help transferring knowledge. Moreover, they can be a useful tool to develop social-emotional skills in the intervention process of children with ASD.
If you want more information on this project, or you have a familiar with ASD that could participate in this project, contact us via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org