Building Robota, a Mini-Humanoid Robot for the Rehabilitation of Children with Autism
The Robota project constructs a series of multiple degrees of freedom doll-shaped humanoid robots, whose physical features resemble those of a human baby. The Robota robots have been applied as assistive technologies in behavioral studies with low-functioning children with autism. These studies investigate the potential of using an imitator robot to assess children’s imitation ability and to teach children simple coordinated behaviors. In this paper, we review the recent technological developments that have made the Robota robots suitable for use with children with autism. We critically appraise the main outcomes of two sets of behavioral studies conducted with Robota and discuss how these results inform future development of the Robota robots and generally, robots for the rehabilitation of children with complex developmental disabilities.