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Publications from the Lab

B. Brinton, L. Robinson, M. Fujiki, A. Acerson, M. Hansen, M. Colton, M. A. Goodrich, A. Atherton, and D. Ricks. Ehancing Social Engagement in Children with ASD: Using a Robot. Poster at the Annual American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (AHSA). November 17-19, 2011, San Diego, California, USA.

J. A. Atherton and M. A. Goodrich. Supporting Clinicians in Robot-Assisted Therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder: Creating and Editing Robot Animations with Full-Body Motion Tracking. In Human-Robot Interaction: Perspectives and Contributions to Robotics From the Human Sciences Workshop at Robotics Science And Systems. June 2011.

J. A. Atherton and M. A. Goodrich. Visual Robot Choreography for Clinicians. Proceedings of the Conference on Collaborative Technologies and Systems (CTS), Philadelphia, PA, May 2011.

M. A. Goodrich, M. Colton, B. Brinton, and M. Fujiki. A Case for Low-Dose Robotics in Autism Therapy. In Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE RAS International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction . 2011. Poster.

J. A. Atherton and M. A. Goodrich. Perception by Proxy: Humans Helping Robots to See in a Manipulation Task. In Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE RAS International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction. 2011. Poster.

M. A. Goodrich and P.B. Sujit and B. Pendleton and J. Pinto and J. W. Crandall. Toward Human Interaction with Bio-Inspired Teams. In Proceedings of Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems. 2011. Poster.

A. K. Acerson. The effects of the use of a humanoid robot on social engagement in two children with autism spectrum disorders. M.S. Thesis, Brigham Young University, 2011.

D. J. Ricks, M. B. Colton, and M. A. Goodrich. Design and Evaluation of a Clinical Upper-Body Humanoid Robot for Autism Therapy. 2010 International Conference on Applied Bionics and Biomechanics, Venice, Italy, October 14-16, 2010.

N. Giullian, D. Ricks, A. Atherton, M. Colton, M. Goodrich, and B. Brinton. Detailed Requirements for Robots in Autism Therapy. 2010 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Istanbul, Turkey, October 10-13, 2010.

D. Ricks and M. Colton. Trends and Considerations in Robot-Assisted Autism Therapy. 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Anchorage, Alaska, May 3-8, 2010.

D. Ricks. Design and Evaluation of a Humanoid Robot for Autism Therapy. M.S. Thesis, Brigham Young University, 2010.

M. B. Colton, D. J. Ricks, M. A. Goodrich, B. Dariush, K. Fujimura, and M. Fujiki. Toward Therapist-in-the-Loop Assistive Robotics for Children with Autism and Specific Language Impairment. 2009 AISB Syposium on New Frontiers in Human-Robot Interaction, Edinburgh, Scotland, April 8-9, 2009. Edinburgh, Scotland.

Tutorials and Overviews

An article about Maja Mataric's work on assistive robotics in the New Yorker magazine. The matching of introverted robots with introverted humans and similarly for extraverts is very interesting. Also, the story of Kevin controlling the robot with Wizard of Oz support is interesting. Turkle's thoughts on ethical considerations seem important.

Babies learn from robots while robots learn from babies. From NSF Discoveries.

What do robot babies look like and what can they do. An article from IEEE Spectrum Magazine with several pictures.

A lecture from Dr. Tina Dyches, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology and Special Education, where she talks with doctoral students about autism.

Notes from the tutorial on robots for children with special needs held at ICRA 2010.

A nice tutorial from Marge Skubic on different work in robot-assisted autism therapy.

What are some of the clinical considerations in robot-assisted therapies for children with autism, by Bonnie Brinton, Martin Fujiki, and Lee Robinson (1/15/09).

What are trends in robot-assisted therapies for children with autism, by Mike Goodrich.

What are some factors in design of robot faces, by Dan Ricks.

What do robots look like, by Dan Ricks.

What is human-robot interaction?

Who else is working on assistive robotics?

Robot control with a wearable interface – See the third video featuring the Huggable project from MIT Media Lab.

STAR Program, a Comprehensible Behavioral program based on ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) for children with autism which provides a curriculum having three instruction strategies Discrete Trial Training,Pivotal Response Training and Teaching Functional Routines

LRBI ? The Least Restrictive Behavioral Interventions for students. It is to make behavior support and interventions more positive in school and to insure the students aren't mistreated.

FUBA/BIP (Functional Behavioral Assessment/ Behavior Intervention Plan) , used by school teachers for students with disabilities to identify what the function of a behavior is to teach and then a plan to change the appropriate behavior.

Examples for Discreet Trial Lesson Plan & Direct Instruction Lesson Plan used in schools for students with disabilities


A study from Kerstin Dautenhahn's group on using humanoid robots to establish better collaboration between an adult and a child with autism. This study uses an ABAB design. The attached copy is Mike's annotated version. Mikle notes the following:

  • good descriptions of procedures for video coding and some design details that might be useful to emulate
  • I much prefer having at least 2 video coders to code everything
  • Biggest weakness substantially limits interpretation, that is they need to consider AA and BB designs (better AAA and BBB) as well - I think just getting used to the human might make a big difference, even with no robot in the mix!

There is a very clever user interface design be demonstrated at UIST 2010. They use a simple fin that rotates about a disk as a timing device, and then link events on the periphery of the disk. When the timing fin hits the event, the robot performs the event. This is a nice tool for sequencing behaviors, and one that we might try to use when we try to sequence robot behaviors.

An annotated copy of a paper by David Feil-Seifer that discusses free form interaction between children with autism and a semi-autonomous bubble-blowing robot. This paper builds from their earlier work that was more of a position-paper (annotated), but which also included a clear statement of their research approach. There are some great ideas in this paper, especially relating to using the robot as a tool for engaging a child and relating to setting up a smart room to better understand proxemics. The annotations largely point to issues that call for having a therapist in the loop. David J. Feil-Seifer, Matthew P. Black, Elisa Flores, Aaron B. St. Clair, Emily K. Mower, Chi-Chun Lee, Maja J. Matarić, Shrikanth Narayanan, Clara Lajonchere, Peter Mundy, and Marian Williams, “Development of Socially Assistive Robots For Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders,” USC Interaction Lab Technical Report CRES-09-001, Los Angeles, CA, Oct 2009.

Are there any longitudinal studies for using robots to help children with autism? See the paper here by Francois et a. for an example.

What kind of social interactions are triggered by using robots to assist children with autism? Robins et al. address this. In a related paper, Robins et al. provide some specific examples of how a robot can mediate attention between a child and a therapist. The copy of the paper posted here has been annotated by Mike G. In another related paper from Dautenhahn's group, the authors present a bit more data that extends over time, and emphasize the importance of longitudinal studies (albeit longitudinal studies with only qualitative observations). A related paper by Kozima et al. tends to follow a similar model as the work by Robins: design, explore, derive usage rules, and derive design requirements. The link above points to an annotated version of this paper. This work may be especially interesting because it uses both the Infanoid robot and Keepon.

What is Honda doing in the field of real-time robot imitation? Paper #1 Paper #2

Does the robot's appearance matter to children with autism?

What is the role of the therapist in robot-assisted interactions? Ben Robins, Kerstin Dautenhahn (2006), The role of the experimenter in HRI research - A case study evaluation of children with autism interacting with a robotic toy. Proc IEEE Ro-man 2006, 15th IEEE International Workshop on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, Hatfield, UK. Mike annotated a version of this paper, highlighting things that form the basis for the TiLAR approach to robot-assisted therapy.

Autism Therapy Using a Realistic Robotic Head G. Pioggia, R. Igliozzi, M. Ferro, A. Ahluwalia, F. Muratori, and D. De Rossi, “ An android for enhancing social skills and emotion recognition in people with autism,” IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 507-15, Dec. 2005.

Autism Therapy Using Keepon, the Snowman-like Robot H. Kozima, C. Nakagawa, and Y. Yasuda, “Interactive robots for communication-care: a case-study in autism therapy,” 2005 IEEE International Workshop on Robotics and Human Interactive Communication.

A Study on Robot Appearance in Autism Therapy B. Robins, K. Dautenhahn, and J. Dubowski, “Does appearance matter in the interaction of children with autism with a humanoid robot?” Interaction Studies, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 479-512, 2006.

Design Considerations for Building a Robot Head C. F. DiSalvo, F. Gemperle, J. Forlizzi, and S. Kiesler, “All robots are not created equal: the design and perception of humanoid robot heads,” Proceedings of the Conference on Designing Interactive Systems: Processes, Practices, Methods, and Techniques, pp. 321 326, June 2002.

Design of a Mascot Style Robot H. Lee, J. Park, and M. Chung, “A linear affect-expression space model and control points for mascot-type facial robots,” in IEEE Transactions on Robotics, vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 863 73, Oct. 2007

NBC report “… a video segment on the topic of robots and autism from NBC's Today show on the USC website” - Behzad

New Articles to Consider

J.C.C. Gillesen, E.I. Barakova, B.E.B.M. Huskens, L.M.G. Feijs, From training to robot behavior: Towards custom scenarios for robotics in training programs for ASD, 2011 IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics , pp. 387 - 393, Rehab Week Zurich, ETH Zurich Science City, Switzerland, June 29 - July 1, 2011

For all my TiLAR colleagues' enjoyment: hilarious + social skills + engineering = amazing ://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mUFXFe765I&feature=related and ://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjfeVYTiZzU

A robotic toy for children with special needs Marti, Moderini, Giusti, and Pollini, “A robotic toy for children with special needs: From requirements to design,” 2009 IEEE 11th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, Kyoto, Japan, June 23-26, 2009.

Eliciting Requirements from User Panels Robins, Otero, Ferrari, Dautenhahn, “Eliciting Requirements for a Robotic Toy for Children with Autism - Results from User Panels,” 16th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, Jeju, Korea, Japan, Aug. 26-29, 2007. Mike G. annotated a copy of this paper which is available here

Profiling Robot-Mediated Play Besio et al - Profiling Robot-Mediated Play for Children with Disabilities through ICF-CY (International Classification of Functioning and Disability) as an useful resource in the design development and outcomes evaluation of robotic toys

Guidelines for using robots Caprino and Laudanna “Guidelines for using robots in education and play therapy sessions for children with disabilities,” Deliverable 5.3 (see http://www.iromec.org/8.0.html)

Therapeutic and Educational Objectives Ferrari, Robins, and Dautenhahn, “Therapeutic and educational objectives in Robot Assisted Play for children with autism,” 18th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, Toyama, Japan, Sept. 27-Oct. 2, 2009. Mike didn't really like this paper because it was difficult to decipher what the contribution really was without knowing more about the specific play scenarios, but here is an annotated copy anyway.

How to use robots for play Besio, S., Caprino, F., Laudanna, E. (2009). “How to use robots for play in therapy and educational context? The IROMEC methodological proposal.” VIII International Conference on Interaction Design and Children IDC2009, Como, Italy, June 3-5. (this was a workshop)

Autism Therapies in the News

Work at the Eindhoven University of Technology on using robots for therapies for children with ASD.

Using the Nao in autism therapy

Kaspar in the London Science Museum, August 2010.

Dogs helping children with autism

Using a facial expression recognizer to help children with autism.

An article on the USC work. Check out phrases like “automated therapist”.

Face Reader video.

Video on Keepon and Asperger's Syndrome.

Can Robots Help Autism? – An NBC video featuring Maja Mataric' from USC.

Miscellaneous ''How-To'' Documents

What is the state of the art in robots imitating facial expressions?

Hints on writing NIH proposals (8/25/09). Thanks to Scott Thompson in ME.

What are the Noise Characteristics of 3D Time-of-Flight Cameras (6/4/09).

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