Robotic toys may one day diagnose autism

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Jaiden.net reports: “Brian Scassellati is a robotics researcher in Yale’s computer-science department, and is part of an interdisciplinary group on campus that includes doctors and others. Part of his contribution has been to build very simple robotic heads — more like smart toys — then to watch how different children, autistic and nonautistic, respond to them.

“These devices can be programmed to monitor where the child is, or whether the child has said anything, and then to say something appropriate. In other cases, the robot head will spout things randomly. Prof. Scassellati said that with three year olds, nonautistic children will continue to interact with a robot that is responding appropriately, but will quickly tire of one that isn’t. Autisti. . .

“Brian Scassellati is a robotics researcher in Yale’s computer-science department, and is part of an interdisciplinary group on campus that includes doctors and others. Part of his contribution has been to build very simple robotic heads — more like smart toys — then to watch how different children, autistic and nonautistic, respond to them.

“These devices can be programmed to monitor where the child is, or whether the child has said anything, and then to say something appropriate. In other cases, the robot head will spout things randomly. Prof. Scassellati said that with three year olds, nonautistic children will continue to interact with a robot that is responding appropriately, but will quickly tire of one that isn’t. Autistic children, however, show no such preference, and will be equally fascinated by each.” Link to article

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alex

By alex
October 31, 2005

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