The Power of Memes: The Pepper Robot as a Communicative Aid for Autistic Children - Conclusionby@memeology
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The Power of Memes: The Pepper Robot as a Communicative Aid for Autistic Children - Conclusion

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This paper explores the efficacy of robot-assisted therapy in promoting social and communication skills in autistic children, based on qualitative analysis.
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This paper is available on arxiv under CC 4.0 license.


(1) Linda Pigureddu, University of Turin, Italy, [email protected];

(2) Cristina Gena, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Turin, Italy, [email protected].


The Project


Conclusion and References


The analysis of the interactions and dialogues that took place during the therapeutic laboratory for autonomies endorsed with the inclusion of the Pepper robot provided an interesting perspective on the communication dynamics of children in the lab.

The results obtained showed the effectiveness of the robot in promoting autonomy and functional acquisition, demonstrating that the therapeutic method based on assistive robotics is a valuable resource to support the rehabilitation needs of communication and social skills of autistic children. The analysis highlights new possibilities for their engagement and active participation as a co-designer, as we already experienced in the past with neuro-typical children [19], representing an innovative opportunity to promote the development and wellness of autistic people and opening to new perspectives for therapeutic intervention more aware of the needs of autistic minds.

In conclusion, this paper highlights the need to provide the robot with the ability of adapt to the children’s peculiarity and features and sharing her/his vocabulary, especially by recognizing and using memes during interactions, to inspire greater trust in children and allowing the use of common slang, already in use with classmates, allowing them to consider Pepper a peer and effectively insert it in the role of mediator. In addition, it would allow children to use a simplified type of communication during meetings to compensate for the typical communication deficits associated with autism spectrum disorders.

In the future we will work in this directions (co-design, user’s adaptations, using and recognizing memes during children-robot communication) having the robot able to communicate and express adapting to user tastes and preferences and and try again to field a real-world evaluation that takes into account the effectiveness of different levels of user adaptation [23].


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