In the December 2018 – July 2019 edition of the DE-ENIGMA newsletter, the DE-ENIGMA team at CRAE discussed completion of our final two studies working with children on the autism spectrum – adding up to seven London studies since the start of the project!

It highlighted findings from their April and July 2018 studies that suggested some parts of tablet games and some of Zeno’s actions weren’t easy to understand. From this, the team were able to make appropriate changes to the experiment which led to substantial changes in understanding, compared to earlier studies.

They also discuss the final DE-ENIGMA study that ran from March to May 2019 whereby there were two versions of Zeno: one that was very predictable in the type and timing of his actions and another less predictable. This study tests claims that more predictable robots can benefit children, and are easier to interact with. The DE-ENIGMA team is now comparing the two groups to test the claims.

Finally, the newsletter looked at what is next for the DE-ENIGMA team at CRAE. The project has now finished our studies with schools and teachers, and Zeno is taking a well-deserved rest. Back at the lab, we are analysing the data we have collected to see whether there were any differences in the way that children interacted with very-predictable Zeno compared with less-predictable Zeno. Our findings will be written up in scientific papers in order to share our results with researchers. We will always be looking for ways to share the results with schools, families and the wider autism community.

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