Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Probo, the huggable robot platform.

Robot Assisted Therapy (RAT) with Probo

Therapeutic interventions aiming to improve social abilities imply a lot of time, energy and human resources, so there is a critical need for any tool that might lessen the cost and improve the effectiveness of these standard therapies. Due to the advancements in technology, robot assisted therapies becomes possible and emerging research shows promising results. Our current target group is children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the term used for a group of complex disorders of brain development, which are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Social robots have been shown to have promise as potential assessment and therapeutic tools, because children with ASD express an interest in interacting socially with such systems. Results have shown that children with autism proactively interact with simple robots and the arguments can probably be found in the fact that robots are simpler, more predictable and ideal interaction partners for children with autism. The following therapies were already covered:

  • Social Stories told by Probo
  • Identifying situation-based emotions with Probo
  • Probogotchi Game for children with autism and their siblings

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