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Robots to Help Autistic Kids

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Published on : Apr 30, 2019

To overcome challenges for children with autism, scientists have come up with a simple technique to build new robots. The technique utilizes affordable low energy Bluetooth devices of BLEs to perceive and interact with its surroundings. Along with its multiple applications, these new robots can help children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The technique allows robots to act as a mediator and monitor children and their surroundings.

However, it gets quite challenging when developing a fully autonomous robot to assist children. This is because children are quite spontaneous in decision-making and tend to change their interaction style or move a lot. This makes it difficult for robots to read and analyze the patterns of a child using traditional cameras and sensors.

How New Technique Helps Scientists Aid People with Autism?

The external tracking devices that help gather information on proximity to the robots require at least three points of reference. Also, in order to provide accurate results, must be visible every time and worn externally. While the information provided by sensors and camera are accurate, these devices tend to limit children's movement to a single room.

To overcome these challenges, scientists have developed a new technique using BLE-enabled devices to help autism affected children. This technique does not require any camera and can do all the computation on-board itself. With the help of this technique, the robots provide proximity information about the whereabouts to the children. The robot can perform all the task without any calibrated camera in accordance with the environment or any environmental change. Moreover, this technology is also scalable to other humans to robot interaction scenarios where the user might require proximity information.