In this project we have three main Hypothesis: 1) with the cloud-based architecture that we propose is possible to measure the effect of LEGO engineering and its collaborative nature on the development of social skills in children and adolescents with ASD, 2) using a social robot companion as social mediator we increase the engagement of the participants to interact between them and follow the activity as it is planned, and 3) there might be singularities in engineering skills and processes used by children with ASD compared to typically developing children while solving engineering problems.
While there is a growing body of research centered around robotics and autism, using the robot as a data source and a companion is a new idea. Previous research includes children with ASD working with humanoid robots (eg. NAO or KASPAR), working together to build robots (Wainer, 2010), talking to the robot, and mimicking a robot (Diehl 2012). In addition we present a cloud-based system to speed up the analysis of how therapies like this based on working in groups and building LEGO change their social skills, social network, and cognitive skills.