The proposed set of tools constitutes a video-based robotic instrument which targets the domain of early diagnosis for children at risk of developing psychiatric disorders. As such, this proposal is at the disciplinary boundaries between computer science, psychology and psychiatry, and medicine. Proposed is the development of a robotic instrument that could observe and automatically analyze abnormalities in children, thus introducing a novel technology which can help identifying children at risk. Specific activities include: - Development and clinical verification of instrumentation and clinical protocols to quantify mental disorders in children; - Development and usage of computer vision and machine learning methodologies in the instrument; - Development of statistical models to evaluate the available related data sets; - Usage of a wide array of passive and active sensors and state-of-the-art 3D camera systems to collect and analyze the monitored data; - Usage of robots and robot pets as a means to detect and treat mental disorders; and, - Practical validation of the instrument at the Medical School.
Broader Impacts: The recent usage of computer vision methodologies/hardware and robotics for detection of mental disorders in children, in itself, constitutes strong broader impacts. Planned are also educational programs (workshops, tutorials, etc.) that will enable training gathering of physicians and psychologists to the aforementioned methods/procedures, which would otherwise not be possible. Moreover, significant planned curriculum development at the participating institutions revolves around the instrument. In addition, outreach activities for middle-school students from underrepresented groups will take place, and so will outreach to various pertinent patient groups. This truly interdisciplinary project also plans to include international partners.