Conference paper Open Access

"iCub says: Do my motor sounds disturb you?" Motor Sounds and Imitation with a Robot for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Chevalier, Pauline; Floris, Federica; Priolo, Tiziana; De Tommaso, Davide; Wykowska, Agnieszka

In Socially Assistive Robotics, robots are used as social partners for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. However, it is important to keep in mind that this population shows auditory hypo- or hypersensitivity, which results in avoiding or seeking behaviors towards sounds. Robots, from their mechanical embodiment, exhibit motor noises, and we aimed here to investigate their impact in two imitation games with iCub on a computer screen. We observed that participants who reported negative responses to unexpected loud noises were more able to focus on a “Simon says” game when the robot’s motor noises were canceled.

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