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Almohada interactiva para apoyar la terapia de niños con trastornos autistas


Oferta Tecnológica
Un instituto de investigación italiano ha desarrollado un dispositivo interactivo con forma de almohada y sistema electrónico que facilita la interacción y apoya el desarrollo de las destrezas sociales y de comunicación de niños con trastorno autista mediante la detección del tacto y la emisión de respuestas sensoriales como respuesta. La almohada tiene cuatro partes simétricas con leds separados y sensores sensibles al tacto capaces de modificar los colores o sonidos en función de las tareas particulares que los terapeutas y los niños realizan durante la terapia. El instituto busca socios con el fin de establecer acuerdos de investigación, cooperación y comercialización con asistencia técnica en los campos de medicina, servicios sanitarios y sensores.


Interactive soft device pillow-shaped for supporting the therapy of children with autistic disorders
An Italian research Institute has developed an interactive soft device that, through an electronic system, is able to facilitate interaction and support the development of social and communication skills of children with autistic disorders by leveraging highly motivating sensorial feedbacks. The Institute is looking for partners to reach research cooperation, technical or commercial agreements with technical assistance in the fields of medical, healthcare services or sensors applications.
An Italian research Institute has developed an interactive and wearable soft device pillow-shaped for supporting the therapy of children with autistic disorders. It works through an internal electronic system, which detects human touch and in response emits sensorial inputs.
The pillow, in fact, has simultaneously characteristics of robotic-mechanical objects (emission of light and sound in response to certain incitements), and typicalness of "transitional objects", e.g. a teddy bear (morbidity, shape), which can be easily accepted and refined by the child. This combination may have a positive influence on the rehabilitation therapy, accelerating the establishment and the development of communication and social interaction between the child and the therapist: the pillow, in fact can be remotely controlled by the therapist through a bluetooth-connected tablet. In this way it is possible to adjust the type of feedbacks that the pillow returns, or modify the ´child´s action- pillow outcome´ contingencies. The sensorial feedback (i.e., sound, music, light) can thus be either directly caused by the child´s action, or it can be controlled remotely by an adult so to encourage social engagement through the development of a triadic relationship.
The soft pillow is animal-shaped so that to appear friendly; it presents four different symmetrical parts with separated LEDs and touch-sensitive sensors able to change colors or sounds, depending on the particular tasks that therapists and children perform during the therapy.
The group of researchers has laboratory tested the device developing different prototypes. The final version has three main functionalities: (1) periodically providing sensory feedbacks through four different LEDs and speakers; (2) acquiring data from the children´s touch on defined areas of the pillow through touch sensors; and (3) adjusting/changing the feedbacks depending on the tasks given from the therapists.

The specialist literature in the field of autism rehabilitation therapy demonstrates that the use of playful robots and software is currently an innovative and promising approach.
The purely mechanical behavior of these objects seems to arouse a particular interest in children with the cognitive diseases. Numerous studies attest the scientific validity of this methodology: in most cases, they are used classic robots (with humanoid form or otherwise), or programs that implement games on computer or tablet.
The Institute is looking for partners in the field of medical and healthcare services to reach technical or commercial agreements with technical assistance. Other scientific partners or Universities are sought for possible updating or development of the functionalities of both the sensors and the materials of the device, through research cooperation agreements.
Advantages and Innovations:
Comparing with other similar existing technologies, the device is easy to be manufactured. The electronics requirements are minimal, therefore the manufacturing cost and the final cost are relatively cheap. The form of the device (a soft pillow) is intrinsically safe and user-friendly for a child. It is battery powered, and therefore independent of the environment. The weight and size make it easy to handle and to carry.
The final prototype has been discussed and defined with therapists and neuropsychologists, in order to insert it within the traditional therapeutic treatments and to analyze the recorded data related to emotional reactions of children with autistic disorders.
The device is potentially useful for the therapeutic treatment of different disorders: autistic spectrum disorders (ASD), generalised developmental disorders, communicative disorders, mental retardations and relational disorders.
The specialist literature in the field of autism rehabilitation therapy demonstrates that the use of playful robots and software is currently an innovative and promising approach.
Stage of Development:
Prototype available for demonstration
Trade Marks

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
The partner sought should be active in the field of medical, healthcare and psychiatric services and should be able to insert the device into their clinical procedures and traditional therapeutic treatments. The purpose is to reach technical or commercial agreements with technical assistance.
The institute is also interested in finding other scientific partners or Universities to start a research cooperation for improving the functionalities of the technology and sensors application, also in reference to the treatment of other different psychiatric disorders.


Type and Size of Client:
R&D Institution
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Languages Spoken:


Technology Keywords:
01001001 Automation, Robotics Control Systems
06001008 Medicina medioambiental, medicina social, medicina deportiva
01002007 Nanotechnologies related to electronics & microelectronics
06001014 Neurología, investigación cerebral
11009 Productos creativos