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While there is a rich history of studies involving robots and individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), few of these studies have made substantial impact in the clinical research community. In this paper we first examine how differences in approach, study design, evaluation, and publication practices have hindered uptake of these research results. Based on ten years of collaboration, we suggest a set of design principles that satisfy the needs (both academic and cultural) of both the robotics and clinical autism research communities. Using these principles, we present a study that demonstrates a quantitatively measured improvement in human-human social interaction for children with ASD, effected by interaction with a robot.


Originally published:

Kim, Elizabeth, Paul, Rhea, Shic, Frederick, Scassellati, Brian. "Bridging the Research Gap: Making HRI Useful to Individuals with Autism." Journal of Human-Robot Interaction 1.1 (2012): 26-54.

DOI 10.5898/JHRI.1.1.Kim