A social robot for children
with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder
THE HOOKIE PROJECT
In recent decades, the number of diagnosed cases of Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) has increased significantly; nowadays, 1 out of 68 children are diagnosed with ASD, and each year there are about 75,000 newborns with ASD in Europe. Recent studies have shown that robotics can play a very important role in this field by alleviating the financial cost of families and improving the quality of educational and social assistance for children.
From DYNA TECH 2012 we want to introduce you to Hookie, a social robot whose objective is to help children between 7 and 14 years old with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder in the social and educational field. Hookie has two main functions:
Hookie can run applications and software for special education, adding the advantages of a Smartphone interface and a body with many degrees of freedom. Thanks to Hookie, special education programs can easily and affordably reach families as they can be used at home without the constant help of a special educator or therapist.
Hookie can interact and play actively with children, reacting to their facial expressions, their movements, and their responses. In short, it's like adding tips to applications like Siri (iPhone's personal assistant), which has already proven successful in dealing with children with autism.