Design and validation of two embodied mirroring setups for interactive games with autistic children using the NAO humanoid robot

Alice Geminiani, Laura Santos, Claudia Casellato, Andrea Farabbi, Nicola Farella, Jose Santos-Victor, Ivana Olivieri, Alessandra Pedrocchi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Socially assistive robots have shown potential benefits in therapy of child and elderly patients with social and cognitive deficits. In particular, for autistic children, humanoid robots could enhance engagement and attention, thanks to their simplified toy-like appearance and the reduced set of possible movements and expressions. The recent focus on autism-related motor impairments has increased the interest on developing new robotic tools aimed at improving not only the social capabilities but also the motor skills of autistic children. To this purpose, we have designed two embodied mirroring setups using the NAO humanoid robot. Two different tracking systems were used and compared: Inertial Measurement Units and the Microsoft Kinect, a marker-less vision based system. Both platforms were able to mirror upper limb basic movements of two healthy subjects, an adult and a child. However, despite the lower accuracy, the Kinect-based setup was chosen as the best candidate for embodied mirroring in autism treatment, thanks to the lower intrusiveness and reduced setup time. A prototype of an interactive mirroring game was developed and successfully tested with the Kinect-based platform, paving the way to the development of a versatile and powerful tool for clinical use with autistic children.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages1641-1644
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781538613115
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
Event41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2019 - Berlin, Germany
Duration: Jul 23 2019Jul 27 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS
ISSN (Print)1557-170X

Conference

Conference41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2019
Country/TerritoryGermany
CityBerlin
Period7/23/197/27/19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics

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