Human-robot interaction as a model for autism therapy : an experimental study with children with autism
Human-robot interaction is a quickly growing area of research. While most projects deal with typically developing subjects, the particular study that we report on in this chapter investigates interactions of children with autism with a mobile robot. We briefly motivate this approach, and then present results from a particular experimental study. This comparative study provides evidence that the robot is able to engage the children in interaction better than a conventional toy. These results are important since they highlight the potential of using robots in therapy and education of children with autism. Moreover, the work emphasizes the emergent, pro-active, and embodied nature of interaction, as applied to humanrobot interaction. These studies, carried out as part of human-robot interaction research in assistive technology might serve as a model for future medical intervention using robots in autism therapy.