ArticlePublisher preview available

Humanoid Robot as a Teacher’s Assistant: Helping Children with Autism to Learn Social and Academic Skills

Authors:
  • AFG College with the University of Aberdeen, Qatar
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is becoming a growing concern worldwide. Parents are often not aware of the different nature of children with ASD and attempt to treat him/her the same way as other children. However, that causes more and more isolation of such children from the social interactions around them, resulting in more secluded and people-phobic behaviors. Nevertheless, similar to other children, children with ASD also like to play with toys. This observation has led to the use of toys in a way that mere playful activities could become sources of learning and skill-building, somewhat serving or assisting in the role of a human teacher. Robots have been observed to be fascinating for all children and compensating for a human companion to a certain extent. In this paper, a short study has been presented involving a humanoid robot programmed for a number of teaching and therapeutic behaviors, such as exercises, singing, explaining, and playing with children. Tests were performed on a small group of 15 children with ASD (ages 7–11) using these activities at a local school for children with special needs for a number of weeks. The objective of the study was to quantify the improvement in a number of behavior and learning parameters when children performed the activities with NAO robot present with the teacher, as opposed to the same type of activities performed by the teacher alone. The performance improvement was quantified in terms of the NAO robot activity as independent variable, and following dependent behavioral variables observed from the responses of children: (a) number of trials, (b) activity response time, (c) response type, and (d) behavior retention. Quantified findings from these tests are reported in this paper against average performance values (based on teachers and psychologists’ evaluation). The results of the study have been found to be very encouraging which demonstrates the capability of robotic toys to improve the learning process for children with ASD. The results of this study also encourage the low-cost development and usage of such robotic toy systems for teaching and therapeutic applications that help such children to become better members of society.
Humanoid Robot as a Teachers Assistant: Helping Children
with Autism to Learn Social and Academic Skills
Uvais Qidwai
1
&Saad Bin Abul Kashem
2
&Olcay Conor
3
Received: 23 February 2019 /Accepted: 1 August 2019
#Springer Nature B.V. 2019
Abstract
Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD) is becoming a growing concern worldwide. Parents are often not aware of the differentnature
of children with ASD and attempt to treathim/her the same way as other children. However, that causesmore and moreisolation
of such children from the social interactions around them, resulting in more secluded and people-phobic behaviors. Nevertheless,
similar to other children, children with ASD also like to play with toys. This observation has led to the use of toys in a way that
mere playfulactivitiescould becomesources of learning and skill-building, somewhat serving or assisting inthe role of a human
teacher. Robots have been observed to be fascinating for all children and compensating for a human companion to a certain
extent. In this paper, a short study has been presented involving a humanoid robot programmed for a number of teaching and
therapeutic behaviors, such as exercises, singing, explaining, and playing with children. Tests were performed on a small group of
15 children with ASD (ages 711) using these activities at a local school for children with special needs for a number of weeks.
The objective of the study was to quantify the improvement in a number of behavior and learning parameters when children
performed the activities with NAO robot present with the teacher, as opposed to the same type of activities performed by the
teacher alone. The performance improvement was quantified in terms of the NAO robot activity as independent variable, and
following dependent behavioral variables observed from the responses of children: (a) number of trials, (b) activity response time,
(c) response type, and (d) behavior retention. Quantified findings from these tests are reported in this paper against average
performance values (based on teachers and psychologistsevaluation). The results of the study have been found to be very
encouraging which demonstrates the capability of robotic toys to improve the learning process for children with ASD. The results
of this study also encourage the low-cost development and usage of such robotic toy systems for teaching and therapeutic
applications that help such children to become better members of society.
Keywords AutismSpectrumdisorder(ASD) .HumanrobotInterface(HRI) .NAOrobot .Interactivegames .Robot-basedgames
1 Introduction
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are usually defined as
neurodevelopmental disorders in which a person has ab-
normal social interaction, impaired communication, lan-
guage difficulties and lack imitational coordination [1].
ASD manifests in diverse actions, behaviors, and appear-
ances, making each individual child a unique experience.
However, certain collective trades occur commonly in a
larger number of children. These trades usually include
behavioral abnormalities in terms of social interaction, de-
livery speech impediments, recognition difficulties, and
expression inability. Hence, simple tasks that are essential
for learning, such as following instructions, focusing on an
activity, and attention spans, are extremely challenging for
children with ASD, resulting in learning difficulties.
The conventional therapeutic methods include pictorial
tools, e.g. cards, flip charts, posters, etc. The research commu-
nity has also been active in using a variety of different elec-
tronic tools and toys, e.g., tablet PCs, mobile phone apps, and
computer games, etc. The underlying objectives of the studies
conducted using these tools is to improve focus, hand-eye
coordination and memory retention in children with ASD.
During past 5 years, several articles have been published to
report experimentation with toys with smarter interfaces and
robots. Compared to gaming applications in PCs, robots are
*SaadBinAbulKashem
saadaip@gmail.com
1
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Qatar University,
Doha, Qatar
2
Qatar Armed Forces-Academic Bridge Program, Qatar Foundation,
Doha, Qatar
3
Step by Step School, Doha, Qatar
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10846-019-01075-1
Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems (2020) 98:759770
/Published online: 16 August 2019
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
... Robots may be able to engage students with disabilities in a new way. Qidwai [12] studied the ways robots could be used to assist children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and found strong evidence that using NAO led to great improvement in learning behaviors. Most children with ASD have difficulties being around other people, but these "human-phobic barriers" are removed when towards a robot. ...
... In turn, the child is more likely to interact with the robot and therefore learn from the robot. Additionally, because robots can be extremely repetitive and predictable, it is easier for children with ASD to understand "how to perceive human and understand human emotions" [12]. Kim [8] found that the teacher can elicit more interaction from the autistic children by using the social robot as a partner, and that the robot partner can increase student interaction more than the adult partner counterpart. ...
Chapter
Research about using social robots in the classroom is a growing topic with many unstudied/understudied problems. With the capabilities of these robots expanding rapidly, it has become necessary to explore the uses of robots in addressing persistent challenges in education. The rapid advancement in the technology of artificial intelligence, such as affective computing and natural language processing, makes the reality of social robots in schools more possible now than ever. In the early stages of research, there are many questions to be answered about these robots and their potential applications, technological limitations, and ethical uses. Although the use of social robots in the classroom may be in its infancy, there are many studies that help define where the research stands today.
... The information gathered by the robot sensors can be used for real-time analysis of the environment. Moreover, there are cognitive robots such as the intelligent robot companions, which may be helpful in the therapy of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), depression, or as an aid for the elderly [10][11][12][13]. Generally, the common challenges of biped robots include, but are not limited to, the following: ...
Article
Full-text available
Currently, there is an intensive development of bipedal walking robots. The most known solutions are based on the use of the principles of human gait created in nature during evolution. Modernbipedal robots are also based on the locomotion manners of birds. This review presents the current state of the art of bipedal walking robots based on natural bipedal movements (human and bird) as well as on innovative synthetic solutions. Firstly, an overview of the scientific analysis of human gait is provided as a basis for the design of bipedal robots. The full human gait cycle that consists of two main phases is analysed and the attention is paid to the problem of balance and stability, especially in the single support phase when the bipedal movement is unstable. The influences of passive or active gait on energy demand are also discussed. Most studies are explored based on the zero moment. Furthermore, a review of the knowledge on the specific locomotor characteristics of birds, whose kinematics are derived from dinosaurs and provide them with both walking and running abilities, is presented. Secondly, many types of bipedal robot solutions are reviewed, which include nature-inspired robots (human-like and birdlike robots) and innovative robots using new heuristic, synthetic ideas for locomotion. Totally 45 robotic solutions are gathered by thebibliographic search method. Atlas was mentioned as one of the most perfect human-like robots, while the birdlike robot cases were Cassie and Digit. Innovative robots are presented, such asslider robot without knees, robots with rotating feet (3 and 4 degrees of freedom), and the hybrid robot Leo, which can walk on surfaces and fly. In particular, the paper describes in detail the robots' propulsion systems (electric, hydraulic), the structure of the lower limb (serial, parallel, mixed mechanisms), the types and structures of control and sensor systems, and the energy efficiency of the robots. Terrain roughness recognition systems using different sensor systems based on light detection and ranging or multiple cameras are introduced. A comparison of performance, control Citation: Mikolajczyk, T.; Mikołajewska, E.; Al-Shuka, H.F.N.; Malinowski, T.; Kłodowski, A.; Pimenov, D.Y.; Paczkowski, T.; Hu, F.; Giasin, K.; Mikołajewski, D.; et al. Recent Advances in Bipedal Walking Robots: Review of Gait, Drive, Sensors and Control Systems. Sensors 2022, 22, 4440. https:// Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/license s/by/4.0/). Sensors 2022, 22, 4440 2 of 32 and sensor systems, drive systems, and achievements of known human-like and birdlike robots is provided. Thirdly, for the first time, the review comments on the future of bipedal robots in relation to the concepts of conventional (natural bipedal) and synthetic unconventional gait. We critically assess and compare prospective directions for further research that involve the development of navigation systems, artificial intelligence, collaboration with humans, areas for the development of bipedal robot applications in everyday life, therapy, and industry.
... Therefore, interventions with robots for children with ASD have been shown to increase children's emotional expression [31], attention [32], and joint attention [33]. On another hand, NAO is one of the most widely used humanoid robots for special education [34]; this is due to NAO having simpler features compared to real humans, and compared with other robots, it is one the most advanced and commercially available humanoids and can be programmed. However, in these studies, NAO robots interact with children physically. ...
Article
Full-text available
Education systems are currently in a state of uncertainty in the face of the changes and complexities that have accompanied SARS-CoV2, leading to new directions in educational models and curricular reforms. Video-based Intervention (VBIs) is a form of observational learning based on social learning theory. Thus, this study aims to make use of a humanoid robot called NAO, which has been used in educational interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder. Integrating it in video-based interventions. This study aims to characterize, in an everyday context, the mediating role of the NAO robot presented in group videoconferences to stimulate video-based on observational learning for children with cognitive and social communication deficits. The children in the study demonstrated a minimal ability to understand simple instructions. This qualitative study was applied to three children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), level III special education students at Center for Special Basic Education (CEBE) in the city of Arequipa, Perú. Likewise, an instrument was designed for assessment of the VBIs by a group of psychologists. The results showed that the presence of the NAO robot in the VBIs successfully stimulated their interaction capabilities.
... The impact of a robot through storytelling, games, exercises and singing interactions with the children was tested and analyzed by Qidwai et al. [34]. The NAO robot that was used in the study, with the teacher being present, showing improved performance with the children. ...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, social robots have become part of a variety of human activities, especially in applications involving children, e.g., entertainment, education, companionship. The interest of this work lies in the interaction of social robots with children in the field of special education. This paper seeks to present a systematic review of the use of robots in special education, with the ultimate goal of highlighting the degree of integration of robots in this field worldwide. This work aims to explore the technologies of robots that are applied according to the impairment type of children. The study showed a large number of attempts to apply social robots to the special education of children with various impairments, especially in recent years, as well as a wide variety of social robots from the market involved in such activities. The main conclusion of this work is the finding that the specific field of application of social robots is at the first development step; however, it is expected to be of great concern to the research community in the coming years.
... This increase in motivation may be due, the author says, to the fact that robots generate a number of sensory rewards that can be very attractive to children with ASD (Kostrubiec and Kruck 2020). Furthermore, this type of technology allows the recreation of real situations in controlled environments (Ismail et al. 2019) where they can practice and learn aspects related to communication and social relations, being more predictable and simpler than humans (Short et al. 2017;Qidwai et al. 2020). In addition to this, anxiety is reduced by working previously with robots when social interaction takes place (Kaboski et al. 2015). ...
Article
Full-text available
During the last two decades, the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has opened new paths in the intervention of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). These may include intervention based on "social robots". This research aims to review the state of scientific production on social robotics in the intervention of students with ASD during 2000–2019 to establish an action protocol in the use of this tool through a list of bibliometric indicators. To achieve this objective, we worked through the main collection of the Web of Science (WoS), obtaining a sample of 69 articles.The results indicate that the authors with the highest scientific production are American, even though they do not own the most cited articles in the field. In this sense, the great number of publications are indexed in the JCR Q1. Likewise, two journals are the work core of the field of study. Moreover, the vast majority of the studies are focused in different areas such as: communication and social interaction, repeated and stereotyped patterns of behaviour, interest, or activity. As a conclusion, robotics is a tool increasingly used by students with ASD. Moreover, robotics can be applied through a protocol based on the indicators analyzed. Therefore, future researchers in the field would use the indicators to determine, for example, which area to work in, which year they could obtain information or which journals publish the highest quality research. With the information provided by these indicators, a robotic intervention could be implemented.
... The social robot Pepper is a wheeled humanoid robot designed for extended humanrobot interaction. Although the NAO robot has been used extensively in earlier robotassisted ASD therapy studies (see for example [20]), and apart from differences in appearance and size, there have only been a few studies where the Pepper robot has been featured, even though it presents some advantages. More significantly, it has the additional advantage of being equipped with a tablet, which increases the child-robot interaction modalities. ...
Chapter
Advances in robot capabilities over the last few years have resulted in the introduction of robots in many disciplines. Amongst them, the field of special education attracts scientific attention, towards studying the effect of social robots in the treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This paper presents a pilot study in a real therapeutic setting, using the social robot Pepper to interact with three children with ASD in specially designed educational scenarios regarding monetary transactions. The goal of these scenarios is to enhance short-term and long-term memory, as well as communication and social skills, through exercises involving coins and banknotes. Ultimately, these exercises will be part of a broader effort to help children with autism acquire daily life skills and self-reliance. The pilot study was evaluated using observation sheets completed by the therapist, which were then used to qualitatively assess the effectiveness of the proposed approach. The preliminary results show that the intervention results in increasing engagement and the motivation in communicating.
... Nao has been deployed as an assistant tutor for autistic children [31], a physiotherapeutic assistive trainer for the elderly [32], a cognitive trainer [33], and a healthcare assistant [34]. Recently, Qidwai et al. [35] employed NAO in a short study as a teaching assistant for children with autism. The robot was programmed for a number of teaching and therapeutic behaviors, such as singing, exercise, explaining, and playing with children. ...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, with the current advancements in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), robots have the potential to support the field of healthcare. Robotic systems are often introduced in the care of the elderly, children, and persons with disabilities, in hospitals, in rehabilitation and walking assistance, and other healthcare situations. In this survey paper, the recent advances in robotic technology applied in the healthcare domain are discussed. The paper provides detailed information about state-of-the-art research in care, hospital, assistive, rehabilitation, and walking assisting robots. The paper also discusses the open challenges healthcare robots face to be integrated into our society.
Article
Full-text available
The underwater robot (UR) is an embodiment of interdisciplinary technologies, integrating underwater communication, machinery, marine science, computer science, and robotics. Although URs enable a highly engaging and exploratory construction that can foster children’s engineering education and ocean literacy, little work has explored UR design and education for children. In this paper, we present a study using URs to engage children in exploring engineering, robotics, environmental science, and marine sustainability. We introduce ModBot, a modular UR-making toolkit for children that uses hardware blocks and software applications for UR creation. We describe a study with 31 children (ages 5–8; 16 girls and 15 boys) and report how they learned UR concepts such as buoyancy and balance through playing with the ModBot kit and creating their own URs. This study is intended to investigate how URs can be used to spark children’s interest in water environments and make a connection to robotics by the creation of their own URs.
Chapter
With the passage of federal laws, equal access to technology for all students has gained increased attention in the field of education. Although considering a continuum of assistive technology (AT) products and services for students with disabilities is a mandated practice, educators and related service professionals are faced with challenges of providing effective AT services due to lack of clear legal and practical guidelines and lack of training for the teachers to identify, obtain, and utilize ever-advancing AT. This chapter provides an overview of current AT utilization at schools and related service agencies. AT effectiveness, universal design for learning (UDL), service delivery models, recent trends in AT technologies, challenges in providing AT services for students with disabilities, and implications for preservice and in-service teachers are discussed.
Chapter
The growing interest in the field of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) brings about the prospect of utilizing robots in the intervention therapies for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) children. This paper reviews the topic that relates to the use of HRI in improving joint attention and imitation skill for these children. The review limits papers from the past 10 years in which the earlier findings on the experimental use and design of HRI platforms are highlighted. Also, the methodological steps including the selection of test subjects and methods for outcome measures are elaborated. As results, studies suggest that the use of HRI contributes to positive implications, especially in gaining attention from ASD subjects during therapy sessions. That is, ASD children initiated more social interactions with a robotic partner than a human partner. Thus, it can be concluded that robots have a huge potential to be used as a tool for a therapist to connect with ASD children easily. Future studies might focus on developing a more autonomous HRI so that the robots are capable to operate independently with minor intervention by humans.
Article
Full-text available
Talking and literary reading are important activities for children, especially for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We try to integrate the activities with NAO robots to excite their communication willingness. Making book choices according to the conversation is a task for NAO robots. In this paper, a novel multi-modal picture book recommendation framework that combines textual information and image information to calculate the similarity between the picture books and the conversation topics is proposed and evaluated using a testing dataset. In the proposed framework, an image neighbor discovery method to get more relative terms and an NDK (Near-Duplicated Keyframes) friend detection method to get more relative NDKs are proposed. Both correspondence analysis (CA) and multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) algorithms are utilized. Finally, the booklist generated from the experiment is evaluated by 6 performance indicators and the experimental results demonstrate that our proposed framework achieves satisfactory and promising performance. With the help of the proposed recommendation framework, an autistic child can talk to the NAO robot in a relaxed and enjoyable environment. Please note that the proposed framework is not evaluated for its performance with the ASD children but for its performance at recommending books based on visual and textual features. Therefore, no tests were performed with either professionals nor diagnosed individuals. IEEE
Article
Full-text available
Social robots can be used in education as tutors or peer learners. They have been shown to be effective at increasing cognitive and affective outcomes and have achieved outcomes similar to those of human tutoring on restricted tasks. This is largely because of their physical presence, which traditional learning technologies lack. We review the potential of social robots in education, discuss the technical challenges, and consider how the robot’s appearance and behavior affect learning outcomes.
Chapter
Full-text available
It is well established that robots can be suitable assistants in the care and treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). However, the majority of the research focuses on stand-alone interventions, high-functioning individuals and the success is evaluated via qualitative analysis of videos recorded during the interaction. In this paper, we present a preliminary evaluation of our on-going research on integrating robot-assisted therapy in the treatment of children with ASD and Intellectual Disability (ID), which is the most common case. The experiment described here integrates a robot-assisted imitation training in the standard treatment of six hospitalised children with various level of ID, who were engaged by a robot on imitative tasks and their progress assessed via a quantitative psycho-diagnostic tool. Results show success in the training and encourage the use of a robotic assistant in the care of children with ASD and ID with the exception of those with profound ID, who may need a different approach.
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this research was to study roles, strengths and challenges of robot-mediated interventions using robot KASPAR for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Twelve focus group sessions were organized in which 70 ASD care and/or education professionals participated. Six roles for KASPAR were identified: provoker, reinforcer, trainer, mediator, prompter, and diagnostic information provider. Strengths of KASPAR are related to personalisation possibilities, its playfulness, the action–reaction principle, its neutral expression, consistent and repetitive application of actions, possibilities to vary behaviour in a controlled manner and having an extra hand. Challenges of working with KASPAR were: limited reaction possibilities, possibility of children being scared of KASPAR, difficulties with generalisation or transfer and finally potential dependence on KASPAR.
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies suggest that some children with autism prefer robots as tutors for improving their social interaction and communication abilities which are impaired due to their disorder. Indeed, research has focused on developing a very promising form of intervention named Robot-Assisted Therapy. This area of intervention poses many challenges, including the necessary flexibility and adaptability to real unconstrained therapeutic settings, which are different from the constrained lab settings where most of the technology is typically tested. Among the most common impairments of children with autism and intellectual disability is social attention, which includes difficulties in establishing the correct visual focus of attention. This article presents an investigation on the use of novel deep learning neural network architectures for automatically estimating if the child is focusing their visual attention on the robot during a therapy session, which is an indicator of their engagement. To study the application, the authors gathered data from a clinical experiment in an unconstrained setting, which provided low-resolution videos recorded by the robot camera during the child–robot interaction. Two deep learning approaches are implemented in several variants and compared with a standard algorithm for face detection to verify the feasibility of estimating the status of the child directly from the robot sensors without relying on bulky external settings, which can distress the child with autism. One of the proposed approaches demonstrated a very high accuracy and it can be used for off-line continuous assessment during the therapy or for autonomously adapting the intervention in future robots with better computational capabilities.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Teo is a mobile robot designed for children with Neuro-Developmental Disorder (NDD). Teo's behavior can be remotely controlled by the caregiver or autonomously activated by effect of internal sensors or an external depth sensor. Teo has a soft body that can react to different types of touch (e.g., hugs, punches, or slaps); it can move freely on the floor and can manifest emotional reactions (through light, sound, and movement effects). Our robot can be used for therapy-driven game-based activities as well as free play. The latter involve spontaneous interaction with Teo and free exploration of its affordances, to facilitate children's familiarization with the robot and to promote socialization, positive emotions, and self-expression skills. The paper describes the design of Teo and examples of free play activities that can be performed with the robot. We also report the main results of the exploratory studies that have been performed at 2 therapeutic centers and have involved 11 children with NDD, highlighting the benefits of free play with Teo.
Article
Among social skills that are core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder, turn-taking plays a fundamental role in regulating social interaction and communication. Our main focus in this study is to investigate the effectiveness of a robot-enhanced intervention on turn-taking abilities. We aim to identify to what degree social robots can improve turn-taking skills and whether this type of intervention provides similar or better gains than standard intervention. This study presents a series of 5 single-subject experiments with children with autism spectrum disorder aged between 3 and 5 years. Each child receives 20 intervention sessions (8 robot-enhanced sessions—robot-enhanced treatment (RET), 8 standard human sessions—standard human treatment, and 4 sessions with the intervention that was more efficient). Our findings show that most children reach similar levels of performance on turn-taking skills across standard human treatment and RET, meaning that children benefit to a similar extent from both interventions. However, in the RET condition, children seemed to see their robotic partner as being more interesting than their human partner, due to the fact that they looked more at the robotic partner compared with the human partner.
Article
Background: Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tend to show deficits in engaging with humans. Previous findings have shown that robot-based training improves the gestural recognition and production of children with ASD. It is not known whether social robots perform better than human therapists in teaching children with ASD. Aims: The present study aims to compare the learning outcomes in children with ASD and intellectual disabilities from robot-based intervention on gestural use to those from human-based intervention. Methods and procedures: Children aged six to 12 with low-functioning autism were randomly assigned to the robot group (N = 12) and human group (N = 11). In both groups, human experimenters or social robots engaged in daily life conversations and demonstrated to children 14 intransitive gestures in a highly-structured and standardized intervention protocol. Outcomes and results: Children with ASD in the human group were as likely to recognize gestures and produce them accurately as those in the robot group in both training and new conversations. Their learning outcomes maintained for at least two weeks. Conclusions and implications: The social cues found in the human-based intervention might not influence gestural learning. It does not matter who serves as teaching agents when the lessons are highly structured.
Article
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 behaviours by mapping them to therapist-specified behavioural 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 behaviour assessment.