Joint attention is the capacity of sharing attention between two agents and an aspect of the environment, through the use of different cues, namely gaze. This capacity is of paramount importance for social skills. People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) present certain deficits in joint attention. Therefore, there is an increasing interest in finding therapies to improve this skill. Some of these therapies include robots since they are known to be attractive to people with autism due to their motivation ability and predictability when compared with humans. In this line, we have designed a real-time attention classifier for a triadic robotic therapy, using Gaze360 and geometrical considerations of the scene. We were able to classify the gaze of the therapist and the one of the child during the whole session, even in a highly unconstrained scenario with a single camera, achieving a mean accuracy of 59%. This classifier can be used for the measurement of joint attention, an important metric for the development of adaptive robotic therapies, where increasing levels of difficulty and engagement are provided dependent on the ASD children, who are characterised by high heterogeneity. Future work will pass by the calculation of this metric and integration on a robotic platform for ASD therapy to understand the impact of these robotic therapies in improving ASD symptoms, specifically on how ASD children share their attention with other people present in the rehabilitation scenarios.

Sharing Worlds: Design of a Real-Time Attention Classifier for Robotic Therapy of ASD Children

Santos, Laura;Geminiani, Alice;Pedrocchi, Alessandra
2022-01-01

Abstract

Joint attention is the capacity of sharing attention between two agents and an aspect of the environment, through the use of different cues, namely gaze. This capacity is of paramount importance for social skills. People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) present certain deficits in joint attention. Therefore, there is an increasing interest in finding therapies to improve this skill. Some of these therapies include robots since they are known to be attractive to people with autism due to their motivation ability and predictability when compared with humans. In this line, we have designed a real-time attention classifier for a triadic robotic therapy, using Gaze360 and geometrical considerations of the scene. We were able to classify the gaze of the therapist and the one of the child during the whole session, even in a highly unconstrained scenario with a single camera, achieving a mean accuracy of 59%. This classifier can be used for the measurement of joint attention, an important metric for the development of adaptive robotic therapies, where increasing levels of difficulty and engagement are provided dependent on the ASD children, who are characterised by high heterogeneity. Future work will pass by the calculation of this metric and integration on a robotic platform for ASD therapy to understand the impact of these robotic therapies in improving ASD symptoms, specifically on how ASD children share their attention with other people present in the rehabilitation scenarios.
2022
Proceedings International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, ICORR 2022
978-1-6654-8829-7
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1232790
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