Autism and artificial intelligence
At a university lab in Washington, Darwin-OP2, a human-like robot, fiercely kicks a green ball across the ground. “I want to be friends and play soccer,” he says in a cold, monotonous voice.
Darwin-OP2 is not a toy. It is one of the most advanced research and development examples of what is labeled assisted robotics and humanoid interaction. Darwin-OP2 has been programmed by a team of biomedical engineering professors at a major university in the US The project aims to help children with autism spectrum disorder become more involved with society. The main objective will be to use a robotic system to help children with autism to communicate with others in a much easier and more comfortable way.
However, the project is in the early stages and much remains to be done. It focuses on how a robot can help children ages 5-10, but is likely to soon include children as young as three. The ultimate goal is to make technology affordable for countless families in the US with children who have an autism spectrum disorder.
Autism, in most cases, varies from child to child. But there are some common traits among all children. For example, most autistic children avoid making eye contact. This makes it difficult for these children to interact with their family, friends, playmates, and others.
Scientists associated with the project claimed that their studies have revealed that children who have an autism spectrum disorder are more comfortable interacting with robots because they can monitor and control their actions, making them more predictable compared to peers. human game.
Children with autism spectrum disorder often have trouble understanding and picking up on another person’s emotions. But with a social work robot, a child could participate more effectively without feeling overwhelmed. These robots use artificial intelligence that analyzes a child’s behavior and then uses the collected data to interact with them.
Currently three different types of robots are used for testing. One is a mini-robot that is connected to an iPad. Shows facial emotions. The second is a medium-sized robot that can perform various gestures and dance movements, responding to social cues.
And then of course there is Darwin-OP2, a larger, more sophisticated robot that interacts with children by playing soccer and doing other activities. You can dance to music and children with autism can also follow the movements and dance.
Scientists and therapists say that imparting social skills to children with autism requires frequent repetition of actions, which is a perfect task for humanoids and robots. Additionally, robots can assist parents of autistic children with applied behavior analysis therapy. Such therapy requires many hours to be spent with the child, which may not be possible for working parents. Additionally, robots have artificial intelligence that can collect data to provide useful analysis to parents, helping them understand their children’s behavior.
But these are the first days of testing how robots and artificial intelligence can help autistic children.