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Project proposal link

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tbBHFzcmGRyAjN_04vVcfsUhWULIQPDI-dbbjs1OfWw/edit?usp=sharing

 

Link to my project proposal that I’m working on 🙂

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More other notes about SARs

  • How a robot speaks to a user affects that user’s experience with the robot. When a robot calls a person by name, that individual is more likely to rate the robot as friendlier and behave in a more socially engaged way (e.g. pay closer attention and speak more to the robot).
  • People tend to respond more positively to robots that appear more animated and that demonstrate emotional responses (e.g. appropriate facial expressions and animated verbal content) during an interaction.
  • User personality traits and the “match” between user personality and robot style is another factor that might facilitate human-robot engagement.
  • A match between user personality and robot “personality” (e.g., content of feedback and style of feedback) is associated with increased time spent with the robot.
  • It’s important to acknowledge that users generally respond quite positively to robots across a wide range of design forms. This isn’t to say that all users (e.g., from different cultures and with different experience levels) react to robots in the exact same manner.
  • Variability exists and has been documented in how people view and respond to robots.
  • Users across the lifespan tend to be quite open to interactions with robots.
    Children and young people tend to react positively to robots, readily engaging in play activities with them.
  • Older adults and the elderly frequently report being willing to accept assistance from robots in a variety of tasks, including household activities and medication reminders.
  • Additional experience and time interacting with robots seems to foster even more positive reactions.
  • Even over short periods of time (e.g. weeks), users who repeatedly interact with a robot appear to become more comfortable and change their behaviour with the robot accordingly (e.g. increased physical closeness to the robot) to reflect their increasing comfort level.

 

Rabbitt, S. M., Kazdin, A. E., & Scassellati, B. (2015). Integrating socially assistive robotics into mental healthcare interventions: Applications and recommendations for expanded use. Clinical Psychology Review, 35, 35–46. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2014.07.001

Posted in Robots, Uncategorized

Other Notes about SARs

  • Robots have a wide range of potential applications in mental healthcare.
    Psychologists must collaborate with robotics to shape the direction of this work.
    Robots serve as a clinical tool and assistants in a wide range of settings.
  • In spite of the nascent nature of this work, the potential applications, particular in relation to addressing unmet service needs, is emerging.
  • Robots can help to fill niches that are currently vacant (e.g. in rural areas where few mental health providers are available) and can assist human providers in their ongoing effort to deliver services (e.g. by serving as helpful tools within treatment sessions with a provider).
  • Robots can take on therapeutic roles (e.g. naïve peer) that may even be counterproductive for a clinician to adopt in treatment.
  • Robots serve as a complement to many other models of delivery or can be of assistance to patients by providing in-home resources and services.
  • It’s critical to engage the mental healthcare community in this work to ensure that it’s serving our fields most urgent clinical needs.

 

 

 

  • An example of a traditional assistive robot is the MIT-Manus arm system, which helps stroke victims by physically guiding them through exercises.
    • The robot interacts physically (but not socially) with the user by moving the user’s body through the appropriate motions.
  • Socially intelligent robots are capable of socially engaging with users but may not be designed to specifically help people.
    • Ex. Leonardo is an extraordinary sophisticated socially intelligent robot that is capable of expressing a wide range of facial and body expressions, visually tracking the face of human users, responding to physical touch, and engaging in social learning.
  • Leonardo isn’t designed to specifically aid people, and there for isn’t considered a SAR.

 

Rabbitt, S. M., Kazdin, A. E., & Scassellati, B. (2015). Integrating socially assistive robotics into mental healthcare interventions: Applications and recommendations for expanded use. Clinical Psychology Review, 35, 35–46. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2014.07.001

Posted in Robots, Robots & Autism (Children)

Children and Autism (Robots) Part 4

  • Among the issues to consider in using SAR in these types of therapeutic play situations is how or why these robots may be particularly helpful clinical tools for children with ASD.
  • Robots themselves can serve to both elicit social behaviour from children as well as reward the behaviour when it occurs.
  • Considering the interaction within the robots as being rewarding unto itself, one can imagine how SARs could be integrated into clinically relevant tasks for children in ways that are fun and engaging while also meaningfully targeting relevant problem behaviours.
  • A small pilot study for Children with ASD provides relevant information. The study used Probo, an animal-like robot with a trunk like an elephant and an emotionally expressive face.
  • Probo was integrated into Social Stories, short scenarios are written or personalized for children with ASD, with the goal to improve understanding of specific, challenging social situations, and are typically delivered by a human therapist.
  • In Social Stories, short scenarios are written or personalized for children with ASD, with the goal to improve understanding of specific, challenging social situations, and are typically delivered by a human therapist.
  • In recent adaption of the program, Probo was used to deliver Social Stories and, in a series of single-class studies, Probo and a human therapist were compared in their delivery of the treatment.
  • Children responded positively to both treatment platforms (human and SAR). Interestingly, child performance on the behaviours specifically targeted in the Social Stories improved significantly more following the robotic intervention.
  • As the example with Probo highlights, SAR research in mental healthcare is truly an emerging literature. This work is characterized by small studies (e.g., case studies, pilot research), with restricted samples and in limited settings (e.g., laboratories, long-term care facilities), and frequently without adequate methodological controls and comparison conditions.
  • Even studies that employ a randomized and controlled design often include small sample sizes, leaving open the possibility that some failures to note significant difference could be due to inadequate power.
  • From a clinical perspective, no work to date has indicated lasting clinically relevant changes as a result of interactions with SAR systems.

 

Rabbitt, S. M., Kazdin, A. E., & Scassellati, B. (2015). Integrating socially assistive robotics into mental healthcare interventions: Applications and recommendations for expanded use. Clinical Psychology Review, 35, 35–46. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2014.07.001

Posted in Robots, Robots & Autism (Children)

Children and Autism (Robots) Part 3

  • In addition, the robot “imitated” child’s behaviours, leading the child to share a social smile with a caregiver.
  • These relatively simple social gestures can be quite challenging to evoke in young children with ASD, and the potential value of simple robots like Keepon deserve additional experimental work in clinical populations.
  • More rigorously controlled lab-based research also supports the hypothesis that SARs are helpful tools for engaging children with ASD.
  • In a recent lab-based study, children with ASDs engaged in three different tasks. In the paradigm, the target child and a study confederate were seated at a table together. While they’re both seated, the child participated in 3 activities that involved building or working with blocks: a robot partner condition (where the child and robot completed the task together), an adult partner condition (where the child and another non-confederate adult complete the task together), and a computerized block activity.
  • The adult and robot interactions were designed to elicit several social behaviours from the children, including taking turns with the interaction partner and identifying the interaction partner’s emotions and preferences.
  • Pleo was used as the robot partner.
  • Children spoke more overall during the robot interactions than they did during either the interaction with the adult partner or during the computer task.
  • Children directed more speech toward the study confederate during the robot interaction than in the other two conditions.
  • While value exists in exploring and understanding human-robot metrics, using SAR to facilitate meaningful interpersonal interactions and social engagement with other people is a vital part of SAR research.
  • An important goal of SAR research is understanding how interactions with robots and skills learned or rehearsed with a SAR system can be translated into real-world situations and in interactions with other people.
  • The greatest value in these systems may be understanding benefits from interactions with SAR after the robot is no longer physically present.

 

 

Rabbitt, S. M., Kazdin, A. E., & Scassellati, B. (2015). Integrating socially assistive robotics into mental healthcare interventions: Applications and recommendations for expanded use. Clinical Psychology Review, 35, 35–46. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2014.07.001

Posted in Robots, Robots & Autism (Children), Uncategorized

Robots and Autism (Children) Part 2

  • There is research focusing into mental healthcare has focused on robots as play partners who aid children in practicing or building clinically relevant skills, most often in children with ASD.  SAR are used along with human providers (e.g., therapists and research assistants) to increase engagement and offer additional opportunities for social interaction and skill building within an interaction.
  • SARs elicit positive social responses from children and are generally experienced as a novel and engaging addition to treatment.
  • Treatment potential for SAR in ASD surpasses simple novelty effects.
  • They can serve many different clinically relevant functions, including engaging children in tasks, modelling appropriate social cues (e.g., making eye contact), facilitating join attention tasks, and serving as partners for practicing critical social skills (e.g., taking turns in play).
  •  Given the wide range of functions that they can serve, it’s unsurprising that a diverse array of robots have been used in the extend literature.
  • Unlike the work exploring SAR as therapeutic companions (which focused on a relatively small number of robotic systems), this area includes robots that range from life-like humanoid robots to very simple caricatured designs.
  • Activities included in this area of research are usually designed to be fun and engaging and are often framed in terms of games.
  • SAR system included in the research are often used as therapeutic toys or as a therapeutic play partner.
  • Encouraging case study work speaks to the potential value of social robots in engaging children with ASD in joint attention activities.
  • In a series of case studies with young children with developmental disorders (including children specifically diagnosed with ASD), children were observed during interactions with a Keepon, small interactive robot.
  • From a design perspective, Keepon is quite simple; it resembles two tennis balls, one resting atop the other, and its “head” has two eyes but no other facial features.
  • Including its pedestal, Keepon is about 10 in. in height.
  • In spite of this simple design, Keepon can express attention (by orienting its face and eyes towards different objects) as well as emotional states (by bouncing up and down in pleasure or excitement).
  • Over several months of interactions with Keepon, young children (i.e., toddlers and preschoolers) displayed increased social engagement with the robot.
    • Ex. The robot served as a focus of joint attention for a young child with ASD. When the robot moved, the child responded with looking and smiling at a parent and therapist.
  • The robot “imitated” the child’s behaviour, leading the child to share a social smile with a caregiver.
  • These relatively simple social gestures can be quite challenging to evoke in young children with ASD, and the potential value of simple robots like Keepon deserve additional experimental work in clinical populations.
  • Over several months of interactions with Keepon, young children (i.e., toddlers and pre-schoolers) displayed increased social engagement with the robot.
    • Ex. The robot served as a focus of joint attention for a young child responded with looking and smiling at a parent and therapist.

 

 

 

Rabbitt, S. M., Kazdin, A. E., & Scassellati, B. (2015). Integrating socially assistive robotics into mental healthcare interventions: Applications and recommendations for expanded use. Clinical Psychology Review, 35, 35–46. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2014.07.001

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Types of Robots Part 1

Nao

Image result for Nao robot
Photo of Nano – Source
  • Two foot-tall humanoid robot from Aldebaran Robotics.
  • Can do a lot more than dance and look cute.
  • Nao’s success in the classroom, resulted in the launch of ASK (Autism Solutions for Kids) Nao program.
  • Nao’s tasks are semi-autonomous educational app inspired from various behavioral approaches and models (ABA, PECS, TECCH, DENVER, SCERTS)
    • Nao prompts the students, waits for the appropriate response, and provides a reward when the response is correct, or, when the response is incorrect, encouragement and clue.
  • Teachers can select and personalize tasks based on a child’s individual learning goals, motivators, internal states, and personality.
  • Nao responds to voice commands and tracks each child’s performance.

 

It’s an an interactive, educational and easily implemented tool to engage kids through customized packages of apps for the Special Education.

Nao robot is:

  1. Interactive
  2. Engaging and capture’s students’ attention.
  3. Adaptive to the needs of the classroom from individuals to groups.

It’s a great help for teachers that really appreciate eliminating monotonous tasks.

 

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LiveWorx 2017 – Steve Crow

Steve Crow is a managing editor of Robotics Trends. Steve has been writing about technology since 2008. He graduated from Emerson College with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism in 2007. He lives in Belchertown, MA with his wife and daughter – LiveWorx

Author Profile –   Twitter

Prior to writing for Robotics Trends, Steve wrote sister publications Robotics Business Review and CE Pro.

Posts on my blog that are based on what he was involved in:

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Liveworx 2017 – Abdelrahman Mahmoud

Abdelrahman-Mahmoud.jpg
Source

Abdelrahman Mahmoud is a Product Manager at Affectiva, where he leads development of the company’s Emotion AI SDK and API, bringing Emotion AI into apps and digital experiences. Prior to product management. Abdelrahman held a unique position at Affectiva where he worked both on the engineering and the Applied AI teams, and developing the core facial expression recognition technology and porting it to multiple platforms including mobile, Windows and Linux. Mahmoud holds a Bachelor degree in Computer Science from the American University in Cairo.

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