Several research studies have shown that children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often display impairments in their ability to engage in many social behaviors that are crucial for the development of social-emotional competence, empathy, and expressive language. Because most children with autism show strong preferences for nonsocial information such as objects and machines (Adamson, Deckner, & Bakeman, 2010; Tapus et al., 2012), researchers have explored using humanoid robots to help children with autism develop skills for social interaction (Tapus et al., 2012). In this study, we used data from 55 typically developing toddlers (M= 33 months) who participated in a 10-minute semi-structured play session with a humanoid robot, the NAO V4 (Aldebaran Robotics). The NAO robot was pre-programmed to advance through seven structured social interactions, such as Simon Says, I Spy, a tai chi routine, and a dance to “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” Using this data, we examined children’s engagement with the robot, specifically their looking preferences during the interaction phases with the NAO.
This research was supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).
Brockevelt, Kate; Manner, Marie; Richter, Nadja; Elison, Jed T.
Investigating Looking Behaviors with a Humanoid Robot.
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