back to article Robots used to treat autistic kids

US boffins say they have developed a method for treating children with autism - the condition characterised by repetitive behaviour, difficulties understanding human language and/or lack of imagination - by having them spend time with robots. Vanderbilt U graphic of system for automated care of autistic children Automated …

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Anonymous Coward

System for automated care of autistic Children

OMG - do they mean care? or treatment?

That diagram is more lame than well anything...

A robotic basket ball hoop? WTF?

Robots Might work Well with the Kids as they know what to expect. (Robots have controlled behaviour) once the robots start doing things the kid doesn't expect, like human responses and human actions, you run the risk of the kid disliking robots!

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Gates Horns

Killer Robots

"It has been shown that the children are attracted to robots, raising the promise that appropriately designed robots could play an important role in their treatment,”

Coool, so when DARPA FINALLY get the killer robots Tesco's can buy em for their stores, and after a couple of weeks of mayhem we might get a quieter Saturday afternoon shopping ?

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Anonymous Coward

Sounds great!

I would have loved to play with robots. Well, leave away the camera, therapist and parent and replace the silly ball with an appropriate shooting device... Got the idea? That would have been fun. Unfortunately (or blessedly?) those things didn't exist when I was a kid.

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Linux

This also helps

Free for private use planning app for autists: http://www.autiplan.com

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Paris Hilton

Intelligent

Ok first up -

How many autistic children will be willing to sit still in a chair whilst a battery of physiological measurements, and associated cables are attached? (actually name how many so-called normal children would also allow this)

Next how long will those cables last? What is the influence of movement artifacts...

Good luck in case someone (so-called normal or so-called autistic) suddenly gets a terror tantrum... expensive things might break.

Once again a great boffin idea. Lets take x,y,z and melt into a big pot, and produce... dah dah... something sexy and new, except without the basis of intelligence.

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ted
Go

Hmmm?

Come on Page, what do you think about it?

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Anonymous Coward

Interesting...

I have Aspergers Syndrome and can tell you the biggest emotion I feel is the "leave me the fuck alone!" one, which I suspect the majority of people who have an Autism spectrum also feel.

It's not that we hate people it's that we can only stand to be around them (be 'social') for a much shorter amount of time than the average person before we get stressed because most of the time we don't know what other people are feeling unless they specifically tell us, I can happily spend most of my days not having face-to-face social interaction with other people (thumbs up for self-service supermarket tills).

Interacting through the internet has been a very good thing for me because it allows me to hold conversations without having to be face-to-face and thinking-on-the-fly, I can spend a bit of time composing an email/forum posting, go back and re-edit what I've written before pressing the Send button which you can't do in a face-to-face or phone conversation.

Interactive robots, the right robots could have a big impact on helping Autism spectrum people to become more interested of the world outside their own mind - just don't make them too human looking, ok?

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Flame

@AC 13:07

This is a fairly normal reaction to being out in public, I'm not autistic in the slightest and yet most of the time I find myself wanting to set fire to the people around me in the hope that giving them something important to focus on might make them a little less irritating.

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Bronze badge

@ AC 13:07 GMT

"... just don't make them too human looking, ok?"

Good point. But I can imagine that some will want to, with the mistaken view that this will 'enhance the experience', or something like that.

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Thumb Down

Tantrum-izer More Like

As the father of a very cool little autistic 7 year old boy, allow me to sum up what will happen during this experiment:

Scientist:

"Here, let me just attach these electrodes..."

Kid:

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GTF AWAY FROM ME YOU PSYCHO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Parent:

"O_o, that's 4 new words today! You get a star!"

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Silver badge

Cybernanny

Look at the pic. This thing interacts (aka play) with the kid while the parents kick back and watch TV. If they hear bad shit happening they don't need to even get up, they can watch the kid destroy the robot via Svideo. I guess this thing could end up being cheaper than hiring a Hispanic fleshbot.

Perhaps the robot is a good way for handling the "leave me the fuck alone" reaction. Fleshbots get bored and wanting to play etc while the autistic kid just want to sit there. At least the robot does not get bored.

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"Robots used to treat autistic kids"

But don't anymore? Damn NHS funding cutbacks...

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Boffin

Methinks the real reason autistics like robots

Is the fact that they're SSSO: same source, same output. Like a mathematical function, you always get the same thing from the same situation. Give robots the ability to read emotions and they cease to be SSSO: they cease to be predictable, logical. They become, as far as the kid's concerned, people.

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