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11th International Conference on the Internet of Things, IoT 2021 ; : 223-227, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1784892

ABSTRACT

Covid19 has heightened physical and mental challenges for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). One of the main difficulties that parents of children with ASD faced during the pandemic was to plan and structure a daily routine for their kids. The disruption of the routine, together with the difficulty of combining work and the care of children has resulted in behavioral problems and stress, and anxiety for children and their parents. For these reasons, the main goal of this work was to develop an adaptive robot that helps children with autism to plan and self-manage their day, allowing children to become more independent. While most interactive tools for children with ASD are meant for professional use in therapy, Pepe robot is developed as a support tool for these children to use along the way, with adaptability, agencies, senses, and playfulness at the core of the design. By collecting information from the performance of the kid, it is able to adapt its behavior to the child's (and parent's) needs and desires, and therefore progress with the child. Building upon the principles of Positive Behavioral Support, emotional crises are prevented by embracing a long-run negotiation process, by which the child gets gradually closer to the end goal of self-autonomy. Intended to be adapted to the accentuated needs of these children, the robot combines traditional and computational elements to make the most out of the experience. This project included in-depth user research together with parents and experts, an interdisciplinary design approach, and a prototyping phase in which a prototype was tested with children with ASD. © 2021 Owner/Author.

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