Sensing-enhanced therapy system for assessing children with autism spectrum disorders: A feasibility study

It is evident that recently reported robot-assisted therapy systems for assessment of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) lack autonomous interaction abilities and require significant human resources. This paper proposes a sensing system that automatically extracts and fuses sensory features, such as body motion features, facial expressions, and gaze features, further assessing the children behaviors by mapping them to therapist-specified behavioral classes. Experimental results show that the developed system has a capability of interpreting characteristic data of children with ASD, thus has the potential to increase the autonomy of robots under the supervision of a therapist and enhance the quality of the digital description of children with ASD. The research outcomes pave the way to a feasible machine-assisted system for their behavior assessment.