Robots & Autism: What’s the impact? What’s the future?

TRR_6219A few years ago I was relaxing at home reading the latest edition of the Notre Dame Alumni magazine.  I came across an article written by Dr. Joshua Diehl, Assistant Professor of Psychology, on his robot research and I was hooked. Fascinated and impressed by his work, I began to wonder how we could connect with him.

As the quest to connect began, I remembered that a colleague’s son was attending Notre Dame and, as it turned out, happened to be in one of Dr. Diehl’s classes. Through a series of conversations, emails, and meetings (along with a unified desire to see how robots and autism were linked) we saw an opportunity: to investigate the effect robots have on children diagnosed with autism. Thus began the unique collaboration between the BNI and the University of Notre Dame.

Joshua Diehl..Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame

Dr. Josh Diehl
Assistant Professor of Psychology
The University of Notre Dame

Dr. Diehl is the director of our research collaboration using robots to teach social skills to children with autism. The Robot Study was one of six research studies highlighted at the 2013 International Meeting for Autism Research and has gained worldwide attention.

Dr. Diehl also serves as Director of the For Understanding Neurodevelopment Laboratory (F.U.N. Lab) at the University of Notre Dame. The F.U.N. Lab focuses on understanding and improving disorders (including Asperger syndrome, Autism and PDD) and other neurological disorders.

I am thrilled to invite you to a inspiring, educational and informative meeting with Dr. Josh Diehl here at the BNI on Wednesday, September 25th from 6-7pm in our Forum.  Come and hear about Robots and Autism: The Impact, the Potential and the Future.

The event is free and open to the public, so whether you are a interested community member, medical professional, teacher or family member, this discussion will move you! Reservations are appreciated by calling us at 814-480-6831. I hope to share this fabulous evening with you!

Check out the video regarding the project!

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