Institute of Education


Slowly scaling up from “proof-of-concept” in robotics for autism: the DE-ENIGMA project

Start: Oct 25, 2017 12:30 PM
End: Oct 25, 2017 01:30 PM

Location: UCL Knowledge Lab, 23-29 Emerald St, London WC1N 3QS

Photo courtesy of the DE-ENIGMA team at the University of Twente

Several existing projects have shown promise in using robot-assisted interventions for social and academic skills teaching with autistic children, including emotion recognition.

The DE-ENIGMA Horizon2020 project seeks to extend and “scale up” the available evidence in this area, comparing a robot-focused and human-focused emotion teaching programme across a large sample of autistic children in London and Belgrade. These children (age 5-12), represent a wide range of ability and include many children with intellectual disabilities and limited language, who are often excluded from educational technology research.

This talk will give some background on the rationale for using humanoid robots with autistic children, present some initial results from DE-ENIGMA’s first year of studies, and reflect on what we have learned—both with the robot, and in the associated background and qualitative work with schools, parents, and families.

About the speaker

Dr Alyssa Alcorn is a postdoctoral Research Associate at the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) within the UCL Institute of Education (IOE). She is currently working on the DE-ENIGMA Horizon 2020 project on social robots as teaching tools for autism. 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 and on school settings.


This event is free and open to all. Registration is required for those external to UCL: please email Michelle Cannon at m.cannon@ucl.ac.uk.

Related links

Image: Photo courtesy of the DE-ENIGMA team at the University of Twente.