MQP - Development of a Humanoid Robot for Autism Interventions in Children

Project report can be found here:


Autism Spectrum Disorder impacts an everincreasing number of children. The disorder is marked by social functioning that is characterized by impairment in the use of nonverbal behaviors, failure to develop appropriate peer relationships and lack of social and emotional exchanges. Providing early intervention through the modality of play therapy has been effective in improving behavioral and social outcomes for children with autism. Interacting with humanoid robots that provide simple emotional response and interaction has been shown to improve the communication skills of autistic children. In particular, early intervention and continuous care provide signi?cantly better outcomes. Currently, there are no robots capable of meeting these requirements that are both low-cost and available to families of autistic children for inhome use. We are piloting the use of robotics as an improved diagnostic and early intervention tool for autistic children that is affordable, non-threatening, durable, and capable of interacting with an autistic child.

PABI © - Penguin for Autism Behavioral Interventions

Autism Robot

Students Involved

Project Supervisor

External Collaborators

Related Publications

  1. Dickstein-Fischer LA, Crone-Todd AE, Chapman IM, Fathima A, Fischer GS, Socially Assistive Robots: Current status and future prospects for autism interventions, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Health, Vol 2018, No 15, pp 15-25, June 2018. Dove
  2. Dickstein-Fischer LA, Crone-Todd DE, Chapman I, Fischer GS , Do Social Robots Have a Place in the Practice of Applied Behavior Analysis?, Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), Paris, France, Nov 2017.
  3. Dickstein-Fischer LA, Pereira R, Gandomi K, Fathima A, Fischer GS, Interactive Tracking for Robot-Assisted Autism Therapy, ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction - HRI 2017, Vienna, Austria, March 2017. ACM
  4. Dickstein-Fischer LA, Who's Shaping Who: Symbiotic Reinforcement Learning for Robot-Assisted Autism Therapy, International Conference on Robotics and Automation - ICRA 2016, Workshop on Nature versus Nurture in Robotics, Stockholm, Sweden, May 2016. WS, PDF
  5. Dickstein-Fischer LA, Fischer GS, Combining Psychological and Engineering Approaches to Utilizing Social Robots with Children with Autism, In Proceedings of the 36th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), Chicago, IL, USA, Aug. 2014. EMBC, IEEE, PDF
  6. Dickstein-Fischer LA, Alexander E, Yan X, Su H, Fischer GS, An Affordable Compact Humanoid Robot for Autism Spectrum Disorder Interventions in Children, In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), Boston, USA, Aug. 2011. PubMed, IEEE, PDF
  7. Su H, Dickstein-Fischer L, Harrington K, Fu Q, Lu W, Fischer GS, Cable-Driven Elastic Parallel Humanoid Head with Face Tracking for Autism Spectrum Disorder Interventions, Proceedings of the 32nd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), Buenos Aires, Argentina, September 2010.PDF, EMBC