Developing a protocol and experimental setup for using a humanoid robot to assist children with autism to develop visual perspective taking skills
Syrdal, Dag Sverre
Visual Perspective Taking (VPT) is the ability to see the world from another person's perspective, taking into account what they see and how they see it, drawing upon both spatial and social information. Children with autism often find it difficult to understand that other people might have perspectives, viewpoints, beliefs and knowledge that are different from their own, which is a fundamental aspect of VPT. In this research we aimed to develop a methodology to assist children with autism develop their VPT skills using a humanoid robot and present results from our first long-term pilot study. The games we devised were implemented with the Kaspar robot and, to our knowledge, this is the first attempt to improve the VPT skills of children with autism through playing and interacting with a humanoid robot. We describe in detail the standard pre- and post- assessments that we performed with the children in order to measure their progress and also the inclusion criteria derived from the results for future studies in this field. Our findings suggest that some children may benefit from this approach of learning about VPT, which shows that this approach merits further investigation.