Autism, Autism Tests & Diagnosis, Web/Tech

Robots to Diagnose Autism

That is probably one of the strangest headlines I’ve ever used but its true. Brian Scassellati an assistant professor at Yale University, USA is developing a robot to work with autistic children.
Its long been observed that autistic children do not make eye contact the way that other children do. By making a humanoid robot for children to interact with, Mr Scassellati is hoping develop diagnostic tests that will work on children as young as twelve months old. Current diagnostic tests require the child to be older so the presence or absence of certain social skills can be detected. However the use of eye contact develops very early in a child’s life and with a robot a standardised test can be development.
The Post Gazette has a good write-up of the work: Robotic toys may one day diagnose autism and there is more information on Mr Scassellati’s research page.