Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are characterized by behaviors that pose challenges to developing communication and social skills. The project aims to use social robots to teach language skills combined with social and communication skills to children with ASD. The project will create and evaluate the RObot Supported education for children with ASD (ROSA) toolbox with three parts: Content Creator, for easily creating tailored one-on-one lessons for the unique needs of each child with ASD; Robot Software runs lesson content customized to the robot's capabilities; and Review, for following progress and input for the next lesson. Rosa toolbox targets no specific robot, but content will adjust to a robot's capabilities. The project employs a sociocultural approach with experts in social robotics, education, and ASD and conduct technological and interdisciplinary research in abstracting robot capabilities, robot-assisted language learning, customizing and personalizing technology for education, and education content for children with ASD. The final prototype will be evaluated in a year-long trial with over 50 children with ASD using the social robot in sessions at school several times a week. The children's language, social, and communication abilities will be compared to at least 50 children with ASD from previous years not in the trial. Items measured include children's motivation and engagement when working during the sessions. Quantitative and qualitative methods will be used and ethical challenges related to use of social robots for children with ASD will be addressed. Beyond helping children with ASD develop skills, the project will create knowledge about how the effect of embodiment, social robots, language learning, robot training, how social robots can improve language, communication and social skills of children with ASD. The toolbox can be further developed and commercialized to include other content and target other groups for learning.
Project leader: Kristin Skeide Fuglerud
Category: Teknisk-industrielle institutter
Institution: NORSK REGNESENTRAL