A Robot Companion is a technology to serve humans as assistants. Such robots are able to learn new skills and tasks in an active open-ended way and to grow in constant interaction and co-operation with humans.
Our Robot Companion for Children with ASD is developed integrating 3 elements:
- The Robot itself
- The Interface that the children can use to interact with the robot
- And the cloud-based infrastructure
The ROBOTS used
We have three kinds of robots used in the sessions. Each group of two kids have one or other robot companion by random selection at the beginning of each session.
The Robot Companion is remote controlled by the cloud system. The cloud decision system that sends commands to the robot is based on 3 inputs:
- The most priority is the interface used by the Conductor of the Session/Teacher.
- The web-based interface the children use to communicate with the robot through a tablet.
- A probabilistic decision model based on past events.
All the robots have in common:
- Connection to the VPN created during the session. All are remote controlled from the cloud.
- A sensory system based on: 1) Camera, 2) Microphone, and 3) Touch Sensors
- They interact with the kids through: 1) Non-verbal communication (gestures and expressions), 2) lights, 3) Sounds and Speech.
The models used are:
- NAO Robot
- AISOY Robot
- CEEO-Tufts Robot (Our prototype)
It’s a robotic platform based on Arduino YUN. The embodiment of the robot as well as its degrees of freedom can be modified during the sessions.