Robot iCub: the android that will help autistic children

Autism is a neuropsychic condition in childhood that can lead to severe communication, interpersonal, and environmental adaptation issues. Autistic children also experience language and relationship problems with other children and with adults as well. It is important that these kids are encouraged in their everyday lives. Thus, several Italian scientists have created iCub, a humanoid robot that is able to carry out the mission of assisting children with autism.

The iCub robot was developed by IIT scientists from Italy ( Italian Institute of Technology ). It is the world’s first medical therapy as part of a ‘disorder autism’ trial in a recovery hospital. IIT’s Cognitive Awareness in Human-Robot Interaction unit will work along with the Boggiano Pico Center’s recovery team in Genoa in the coming months. The latter is a clinic specialized in neurodevelopmental disability treatment.

The humanoid robot will be used for the treatment of children with autism spectrum disorders through this partnership. All this within an outpatient setting, directly. The experiment, beginning in 2021, includes the contact between the iCub robot and a group of children already included in the Boggiano Pico Center’s therapeutic pathway. The key aim of the trial would be to improve their capacity to perceive the point of view of other persons in autistic children.

“External skeleton” sounds like a science fiction direct user. Yet Barickson states that, since the 19th century, mankind has been using motion-enhancing aids. It is likely that exterior skeletons will now become part of daily life with the introduction of low-cost artificial intelligence technologies, modern and lighter batteries and low latency fifth-generation networks. Six out of ten survey respondents agree that outerwear can help individuals get jobs done by 2030 and boost their strength.

Initially, this experimentation with the iCub robot will include 50 children and will conclude next year in June. The goal, as already mentioned, would be to help autistic children to implement and improve unique skills in particular.