Learning and Playing with KASPAR: Robot-Assisted Therapy for Children with Autism

29. August 2012


Human-Robot Interaction is a growing area of research where researchers try to understand how to design robotic systems that can interact with people. My research focuses on companion robots that can provide useful assistance to users. Two application areas are of particular interest, namely assistance for elderly users in a home context, and robot-assisted therapy for children with autism. The latter is an area that I have been studying since 1998. Autism is a life-long developmental disorder that impacts on communication and social interaction skills. The talk will introduce our research in this domain and focus on KASPAR, a robot designed and built in our research group, being used since 2005 in order to target interactions with children with autism that address particular developmental or therapeutic needs of the individual children. The talk will outline the particular challenges in this domain, and lessons learnt from this research with implications for the field of Human-Robot Interaction in general and robot-assisted therapy in particular.


Prof. Dr. Kerstin Dautenhahn is one out of 6 keynote speakers giving lectures within the framework of the CITEC Summer School. Everybody who is interested is welcome to attend his talk.