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Applied Bionics and Biomechanics
Volume 9 (2012), Issue 2, Pages 173-179

From Child-Robot Interaction to Child-Robot-Therapist Interaction: A Case Study in Autism

I. Giannopulu1 and G. Pradel2

1Catholic University of Paris, Paris-France, CUP-EPP, 23 rue de Montparnasse, Paris, France
2Laboratory of Computer Science, Integrative Biology and Complex Systems, IBISC FRE CNRS Rue du Pelvoux Evry Cedex-France, University of Evry-Genopole, Paris, France

Copyright © 2012 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Troubles in social communication as well as deficits in the cognitive treatment of emotions are supposed to be a fundamental part of autism. We present a case study based on multimodal interaction between a mobile robot and a child with autism in spontaneous, free game play. This case study tells us that the robot mediates the interaction between the autistic child and therapist once the robot-child interaction has been established. In addition, the child uses the robot as a mediator to express positive emotion playing with the therapist. It is thought that the three-pronged interaction i.e., child-robot-therapist could better facilitate the transfer of social and emotional abilities to real life settings. Robot therapy has a high potential to improve the condition of brain activity in autistic children.