Robots and autism

Dr Thusha Rajendran

Robots and artificial intelligence are a part of our future. So harnessing their powers to help people with autism all over the world today, will help millions tomorrow.


In the UK, only sixteen percent of adults with an autism spectrum disorder are in full-time employment but our research shows that with the right training, many more could fulfill their potential…helping them, their families and society.

So, how can robots help those with autism in the work place?

Our research at Heriot-Watt will help, through our pioneering use of a Flash Robot that can produce human-like emotions.

The aim is to help those with autism better understand the expressions of others, aiding them in the work place when interacting with co-workers and boosting their confidence at the same time.

The Flash Robot can also help employers understand how they may need to change their workplace practices to help employees with autism.

We want to ensure that today’s technology can be used to make a difference tomorrow and by helping those who truly need it, our research can effect significant change.