Robots in the classroom for children with autism.

Funder
Alumni Impact fund, University of Birmingham

Timeframe
2013

Principal Investigators
Dr Guldberg (Education)
Dr Hawes (Computer Science)

Contact
k.k.guldberg@bham.ac.uk

The aim of this project was to establish a bridge between groups in the School of Education, the School of Computer Science and the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, thus providing the basis for a high impact collaboration between researchers within University of Birmingham.

The key researchers running the study were Dr Guldberg (Education) and Dr Hawes (Computer Science), and they received support from Dr Castellano. Under their direction, interns Patricia Perez and Lila Kossyvaki in Education worked closely with interns Tristan Bell and Alex Maley in Computer Science to develop a suite of intelligent behaviours for the Aldebaran Nao robot suitable for use with children with autism. These behaviours went beyond the state-of-the-art by including autonomous robot actions. The interns in Education identified the necessary behaviours whilst the interns in Computer Science implemented. They worked closely with one another, spending time to understand the problems faced by the other. The team received support from Aldebaran robotics and were able to build on work undertaken by Aldebaran for their autism solution.