Using Humanoid Robots to Convey Rehabilitation Therapies to Individuals with Intellectual Disability

REHABIBOTICS is a project that aims to increase the quality of life among individuals with Intellectual Disability (ID) using robotics. It is a collaborative research between Intelligent Robotics and Computer Vision Group (IRCV) at Rovira i Virgili University, Tarragona, and Instituto de Robótica para la Dependencia, Sitges. Project REHABIBOTICS will be deployed at Ave Maria Foundation, which is a residential care facility for individuals with ID.

It has been supported by the Industrial Doctorate program (Ref. ID.: 2014-DI-022) of AGAUR, Govt. of Catalonia.


Project has three main objectives:

  • Analysis of requirements for efficient cognitive stimulation using humanoid robots,
  • Learning & adaptation of engagement/emotional state of the participant by the robot during the cognitive stimulation activities using the physiological signals and RGB-D videos,
  • Development of proprietary solutions for effective cognitive rehabilitation.

The benefits of project REHABIBOTICS can be used to provide an effective cognitive rehabilitation among individuals struggling with a wide range of clinical concerns, including kids with Autism Spectrum Order (ASD), individuals with ID and people with dementia.


Over the last one and half year, it has identified different categories of interaction activities between robots and individuals with ID for this purpose, designing strategy for above type of activities, feedback based architecture of Socially Assistive Robotics (SAR), and the use case for robot interaction and a first ever multimodal annotated database of individuals with ID, recorded in a nearly real world settings for analysis of human affective states. The use case will be adapted in the project in coming times. It will be achieved by customizing the activities and intervention strategy; using external wearable sensors (to obtain EEG, GSR, HR, Body and Eye Movements) simultaneously during the activity to monitor the engagement and emotional state of the users. Based upon the monitoring, a feedback will be provided to the robot to help it to adapt to the user’s current state of engagement and/or emotional state.


1. Shukla, J., Cristiano, J., Amela, D., Anguera, L., Vergés-Llahí, J., Puig, D.: A Case Study of Robot Interaction Among Individuals with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities. In: Tapus, A., André, E., Martin, J.-C., Ferland, F., and Ammi, M. (eds.) Social Robotics. pp. 613–622. Springer International Publishing (2015).

2. Shukla, J., Cristiano, J., Anguera, L., Vergés-Llahí, J., Puig, D.: A Comparison of Robot Interaction with Tactile Gaming Console Stimulation in Clinical Applications. In: Reis, P.L., Moreira, P.A., Lima, U.P., Montano, L., and Muñoz-Martinez, V. (eds.) Robot 2015: Second Iberian Robotics Conference: Advances in Robotics, Volume 2. pp. 435–445. Springer International Publishing, Cham (2016).

3. Shukla, J., Cristiano, J., Oliver, J., Puig, D.: Robot Assisted Therapy for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities: Interaction Activities, Architecture and Use Case. Under Publication In: IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems. (2016).

4. Shukla, J., Barredas, M., Oliver, J., Puig, D.: MuDERI: Multimodal Database for Emotion Recognition among Intellectually Disabled Individuals. Accepted In: Eight International Conference on Social Robotics (2016).