Effect of Different Visual Stimuli on Joint Attention of ASD Children Using NAO Robot

  • Sara AliEmail author
  • Faisal Mehmood
  • Yasar Ayaz
  • Umer Asgher
  • Muhammad Jawad Khan
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 953)


Interaction of autistic children with socially assistive robots have shown improvements in their impairments. This research focuses on one of the core impairments i.e. joint attention of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) using robot-mediated therapy. The study aims to compare the effect of different visual stimuli on joint attention. Two different visual cues i.e. rasta and blink by NAO robot are introduced. The evaluation parameters are total time for eye contact and number of eye contacts in response to generated stimuli. The experiment is conducted on 12 ASD children, 8 sessions for each cue over the period of 2 months. Each session consists of 8 trials of each category. This approach achieves 80.3% of accuracy for rasta while 65.1% for blink cue. The average eye contact time for rasta is 38.8 s and for blink is 32.4 s, signifying the effect of a prominent visual cue in improvement of joint attention.


Human-robot interaction Autism spectrum disorder Joint attention NAO robot 


  1. 1.
    Mittal, V.A., Walker, E.F.: Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. Psychiatry. Res. 189, 158 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Simonoff, E., Pickles, A., Charman, T., Chandler, S., Loucas, T., Baird, G.: Psychiatric disorders in children with autism spectrum disorders: prevalence, comorbidity, and associated factors in a population-derived sample. J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry. 47(8), 921 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ganz, M.L.: The lifetime distribution of the incremental societal costs of autism. Arch. Pediatr. Adolesc. Med. 161(4), 343 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Warren, Z., Vehorn, A.C., Dohrmann, E., Newsom, C.R., Taylor, J.L.: Brief report: service implementation and maternal distress surrounding evaluation recommendations for young children diagnosed with autism. Autism. 17(6), 693 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Damiano, L., Dumouchel, P.: Anthropomorphism in human-robot co-evolution. Front. Psychol. 9, 468 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dautenhahn, K., Nehaniv, C.L., Walters, M.L., Robins, B., Kose-Bagci, H., Mirza, N.A., Blow, M.: KASPAR – a minimally expressive humanoid robot for human-robot interaction research. Appl. Bionics Biomech. 6, 369–397 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dorsey, R., Howard, A.M.: Examining the effects of technology-based learning on children with autism: a case study. In: 2011 IEEE 11th International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, p. 260 (2011)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hashemi, J., Spina, T.V., Tepper, M., Esler, A., Morellas, V., Papanikolopoulos, N., Sapiro, G.: A computer vision approach for the assessment of autism-related behavioral markers. In: Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL), 2012 IEEE International Conference (2012)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bryson, S.E., Zwaigenbaum, L., McDermott, C., Rombough, V., Brian, J.: The autism observation scale for infants: scale development and reliability data. J. Autism Dev. Disord. 38, 731 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sial, S.B., Sial, M.B., Ayaz, Y., Shah, S.I.A., Zivanovic, A.: Interaction of robot with humans by communicating simulated emotional states through expressive movements. Intell. Serv. Robot. 9, 231 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Zheng, Z., Das, S., Young, E.M., Swanson, A., Warren, Z., Sarkar, N.: Autonomous robot-mediated imitation learning for children with autism. In: Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2014 IEEE International Conference (2014)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Zheng, Z., Young, E.M., Swanson, A., Weitlauf, A., Warren, Z., Sarkar, N.: Robot-mediated mixed gesture imitation skill training for young children with ASD. In: Advanced Robotics (ICAR), 2015 International Conference (2015)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Goodwin, M.S.: Enhancing and accelerating the pace of autism research and treatment the promise of developing innovative technology. Focus Autism Other Dev. Disabil. 23(2), 125–128 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kasari, C., Gulsrud, A., Wong, C., Kwon, S., Locke, J.: Randomized controlled caregiver mediated joint engagement intervention for toddlers with autism. J. Autism Dev. Disord. 40, 1045–1056 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bekele, E., Lahiri, U., Davidson, J., Warren, Z., Sarkar, N.: Development of a novel robot-mediated adaptive response system for joint attention task for children with autism. In: RO-MAN, 2011 IEEE (2011)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kumazaki, H., Warren, Z., Swanson, A., Yoshikawa, Y., Matsumoto, Y., Ishiguro, H., Sarkar, N., Minabe, Y., Kikuchi, M.: Impressions of humanness for android robot may represent an endophenotype for autism spectrum disorders. J. Autism Dev. Disord. 48(2), 632 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Robins, B., Dautenhahn, K., Dickerson, P.: From isolation to communication: a case study evaluation of robot assisted play for children with autism with a minimally expressive humanoid robot. In: 2009 Second International Conferences on Advances in Computer-Human Interactions, p. 205 (2009)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Warren, Z., Zheng, Z., Swanson, A., Bekele, E., Zhang, L., Crittendon, J.A., Weitlauf, A., Sarkar, N.: Can robotic interaction improve joint attention skills? J. Autism Dev. Disord. 45(11), 3726 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Scassellati, B.: Quantitative metrics of social response for autism diagnosis. In: Rom. 2005. IEEE International Workshop on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, p. 585 (2005)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Ali
    • 1
    Email author
  • Faisal Mehmood
    • 1
  • Yasar Ayaz
    • 1
  • Umer Asgher
    • 1
  • Muhammad Jawad Khan
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (SMME)National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)IslamabadPakistan

Personalised recommendations