AVATAR: Realistic customized virtual agents as emotional tutors for children with ASD
Authors: Luis Guerrero, Darwin Duchi, Juan Delgado, Pablo Campoverde, Maryury Ojeda
Abstract: This work describes the generation process of a Human-Computer Interaction interface, intended to provide support in therapeutic interventions for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). For the interface, realistic avatars were generated based on photogrammetry techniques, based on real human models. Resulting interface employs the "Wizard of Oz" method, whereby avatars become virtual puppets controlled by a remote operator. Using facial recognition, the avatars mimic the gestures and facial movements of human models while the voice is transmitted without any modification. In this way, interaction is completely promoted by the human model, avoiding the loss of attention that could be generated by delays produced by an automatic interaction system based on Artificial Intelligence. For the experimental process, we developed a mobile application that uses generated avatars as emotional trainers based on 6 basic emotions. App works like a serious game that allows users to identify emotions expressed by avatars by interpreting their gestures. Results showed a great acceptance by children with ASD to interact with the application and an excellent perception by therapists who considered this tool as a very useful support during therapeutic processes.
Keywords: Human-Computer Interaction, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Realistic Avatar, Emotional trainer, Facial detection.
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