Social Robots for Children with Autism

Safinah Ali


Families with ASD often struggle with social and emotional communication. This work explores the role of an embodied agent (a social robot) as an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) tool for families with ASD. We evaluate the usefulness of a social agent in aiding i) emotional recognition, and ii) emotional expression, over using traditional Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS), and tablet based AAC tools. In order to evaluate emotion recognition by children, we suggest several self report methods designed for children with ASD, evaluate each of these tools, and suggest best suited measures for self report. We iteratively design a tablet based tool that enables storytelling through a social robot.