By Costa, S.; Resende, J.; Soares, F.O.; Ferreira, M.J.; Santos, C.P.; More
Proceedings of the 31st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society: Engineering the Future of Biomedicine, EMBC 2009
This paper reports the preliminary research studies regarding the use of LEGO Mindstorms TM robots as a therapy for autistic young people. Most autistic people hardly communicate in a social environment, living in their own world. This is the first step in a broader project which aims to improve the autistic people social life and also their ability to communicate, using the robot as a social bridge between them and the surrounding environment/people. The target group is 17-19 years old having autism disorder and developmental disability. The trials consists of undemanding plays where the intervention of the autistic person is required, using simple inputs, such as voice commands, pressing a button or clapping hands. The presented work intends to evaluate the reaction of this particular target group to the introduction of a toy-like robot in their classroom daily life. The methodology applied, the detailed description as well as the analysis of the experiments are presented and discussed.