Social interaction facilitated by a minimally-designed robot: Findings from longitudinal therapeutic practices for autistic children

Hideki Kozima, Yuriko Yasuda, Cocoro Nakagawa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper reports our longitudinal observation of unconstrained child-robot interaction at a daycare center for autistic children. We used a simple robot, Keepon, that is only capable of expressing its attention (directing its gaze) and emotions (pleasure and excitement). While controlled by a remote experimenter, Keepon interacted with the children with its simple appearance and actions. With a sense of curiosity and security, the children spontaneously approached Keepon and engaged in dyadic interaction with it, which then extended to triadic interactions where they exchanged with adult caregivers pleasure and surprise found in Keepon. The three-year-long observation suggests that autistic children possess the motivation to share mental states with others, which is contrary to the commonly held position that the motivation is impaired in autism. Autistic children, however, have difficulty rather in sifting out socially meaningful information (e.g., attention and emotions) from flooding perceptual information. Keepon, with its minimal expressiveness, directly conveyed socially meaningful information to the children, which activated their intact motivation to share interests and feelings with others. We conclude that social filtering is one of the prerequisites for interpersonal communication and that robots like Keepon can facilitate social filtering and its development in autistic children.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication16th IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, RO-MAN
Pages599-604
Number of pages6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes
Event16th IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, RO-MAN - Jeju, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 2007 Aug 262007 Aug 29

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Workshop on Robot and Human Interactive Communication

Other

Other16th IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, RO-MAN
CountryKorea, Republic of
CityJeju
Period07/8/2607/8/29

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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