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ELE - A Conversational Social Robot for Persons with Neuro-Developmental Disorders

Abstract : Several studies explore the use of social robots in interventions for persons with cognitive disability. This paper describes ELE, a plush social robot with an elephant appearance that has been designed as a conversational companion for persons with Neuro-Developmental Disorders (NDD). ELE speaks through the live voice of a remote caregiver, enriching the communication through body movements. It is integrated with a tool for automatic gathering and analysis of interaction data that support therapists in monitoring the users during the experience with the robotic companion. The paper describes the design and technology of ELE and presents an empirical study that involved eleven persons with NDD using the robot at a local therapeutic center. We compared user engagement in two story-telling experiences, one with ELE and one with a face-to-face human speaker. According to our results, the participants were more engaged with ELE than with the human storyteller, which indicates, although tentatively, the engagement potential of conversational social robots for persons with NDD.
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 2:28:20 PM
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Davide Fisicaro, Franca Garzotto, Mirko Gelsomini, Francesco Pozzi. ELE - A Conversational Social Robot for Persons with Neuro-Developmental Disorders. 17th IFIP Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (INTERACT), Sep 2019, Paphos, Cyprus. pp.134-152, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-29381-9_9⟩. ⟨hal-02544542⟩

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