LOLY 1.0: A Proposed Human-Robot-Game Platform Architecture for the Engagement of Children with Autism in the Learning Process
Existing studies indicate the use of the Socially Assistive Robotic (SAR) system has enormous potential to advance therapeutic interventions in the learning process of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Interactive technology, including the use of educational video games, can motivate ASD children to engage by adopting the technology as part of their communications tools. The complexity in the integration of various components of SAR linked to educational/serious games hinder the modularity and scalability of these robotic systems. This work proposes the design of an architecture for a SAR platform through the integration and reproduction of robot prototype, “Loly 1.0”. Loly 1.0 has mechanical movements, audio, and gestures connected to educational games in real-time. This will support the learning process of ASD children. The robotic platform architecture design is comprised of three main parts: robot, educational game, and cloud services. A proof of concept of the SAR prototype was per-formed with non-ASD and ASD children. Evaluation and analysis of “synchronized operational precision between robot and video game” and “degrees of attention and usability” will be conducted. The lessons learned during the testing process will help to improve the architectural designs of hardware/software integration and connectivity. The results of reproducing a SAR prototype will be to attract the attention of an ASD child through the use a video game to engage the process of “learn by playing”. This will contribute to the design of engaging and personalized Human-Robot-Interaction (HRI) and Human-Computer-Interaction (HCI) technology beneficial for inclusive education.