'''Article:''' Investigating Autistic Children’s Attitudes Towards Strangers with the Theatrical Robot - A New Experimental Paradigm in Human-Robot Interaction Studies by Ben Robins, Kerstin Dautenhahn, and Janek Dubowski

'''Introduction to paper:'''

A man acted like a robot to whatever autistic child was in the room - one time dressed in a suit (“typical” clothes), and another time fully-covered (including his face) from head to foot in solid-grey clothing. While he acted the same (in a predictable, robotic manner) in both cases, children showed avoidance behaviors (like avoiding eye contact, keeping their distance, and/or hiding) when the man was dressed in typical clothes. Some children eventually came near, touched, and looked at the man, however, when he was fully-covered in a solid color.

'''Application to personal research:'''

A common theme shows that autistic children prefer plain objects rather than highly-detailed ones. We could consider spray-painting our robots one solid color. A child (named Andy) often looked at the man's face when it was fully-covered in a solid color. Does he realize that that area represented a human's face? How can we utilize this ability to direct eye gaze to develop some positive social behavior in children with ASD?


  • Does SIZE of robot make a difference? Would autistic children prefer a smaller robot over a large one?
  • Do autistic children avoid human-looking robots because they classify them with real humans, who they (the children) have identified as being unpredictable?

'''Additional notes from paper:'''

  • Explained Wizard-of-Oz as a “widely used” method in HRI where someone is secretly controlling a robot or another kind of system.
  • Defined triad of impairment as hindering “social interaction, communication, and imagination”
  • Theory of Mind Hypothesis implies that “people with autism show difficulties in interpreting other people as people”

« Children Accepting Robots

ar/alan-s-thoughts-on-the-theatrical-robot.txt · Last modified: 2014/08/11 16:02 (external edit)
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