XClose

Institute of Digital Health

Home
Menu

Frontiers in Digital Health: Humanoid robots as (indirect) tools for digital health in autism

Start: Feb 20, 2017 02:30 AM
End: Feb 20, 2017 03:30 AM

Location: Room G01 66-72 Gower St University College London

There has been a recent proliferation of technologies for use by autistic people or those who support them. A few are explicitly targeted at health; more common are projects that indirectly contribute to fostering wellbeing and quality of life by targeting general skills that can support individuals' capacity and opportunities for choice, self-determination, self-expression, community participation, etc. Technologies for autistic children, especially, may target “foundational” social and communicative skills that may not show an immediate relevance to health, but are related to longer-term benefits and positive outcomes.

This talk will give a brief overview of the current autism and technology landscape as it relates to this broad concept of digital health. It will use the ongoing DE-ENIGMA Horizon 2020 project as a case study of a technology that targets this “long term” wellbeing through foundational social skills. This project uses a humanoid robot, Zeno, as a tool to teach autistic children about emotions, and is working closely with schools, teachers, and autism practitioners to evaluate and refine the teaching programme as the project progresses.

Speaker: Alyssa Alcorn

Alyssa Alcorn joined CRAE in August 2016, after completing her PhD at the University of Edinburgh School of Informatics. Her work investigated how novel and surprising computer game elements can motivate autistic children to initiate communication. Alyssa has specialised in designing and evaluating technologies to support and teach young children on the autism spectrum, with a particular focus on social communication. She has been active in the autism and technology community, particularly as an organiser for the International Meeting on Autism Research (IMFAR)special interest group on autism and technology (2013-2015). Prior to her PhD, she worked at Heriot-Watt University on the ESRC/EPSRC ECHOES technology-enhanced learning project for autism. She has an MSc in Cognitive Science from the University of Edinburgh, and a BA in Psychology from Mills College (California).

Please register online

If you have any questions please contact Dr Delmiro Fernandez-Reyes (delmiro.fernandez-reyes@ucl.ac.uk)