AutiGlove: Understanding autistic children using Biosensors and Python!
What is Autism? Autism is defined as a neurobehavioral developmental disorder that shows deficits in communication skills and social behaviour of a child. ASD is a lifelong disorder which has no cure but diagnosing early and providing effective treatment shows positive outcomes in the later stages of life.
How assistive technology is transforming the lives of Autistic children? Assistive devices like Google Glass and Robot Nao are using latest technologies like AI and IoT to help provide cognitive behavioural and operational therapy to an autistic child. These devices primarily use facial / speech Recognition to understand and communicate. However, this method tends to have very less accuracy since children with ASD primarily have difficulty in expressing and communicating. Their behaviour is often repetitive and confusing which leads to a prolonged and less effective therapy. Studies have shown that there is a positive correlation between the physiological changes and the emotional triggers of the human body. To corroborate this research finding, AutiGlove was developed.
What is AutiGlove?
The Hardware Part: AutiGlove is a cost-effective, non-invasive wearable glove built using biomedical sensors like Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) sensor and Pulse sensor. It captures the real-time physiological signals like Skin Conductance and Heart Rate Variability when the participant is subjected to a video/picture stimuli. This triggers an emotional response and the readings captured using the sensors and interfaced with a 3.3 V Arduino Pro Mini. The AutiGlove prototype was tested at an orphanage for autistic children in Bangalore which in iteself was a challenge. For Data Scientists like ourselves, who work on readily available public datasets, this experiment at the orphanage helped to understand the importance of data acquisition stage, the techniques involved and the challenges that need to be overcomed.
Role of Machine Learning: The dataset obtained was subjected to pre-processing. Various Biosignal Processing Python tools like Neurokit and BioSPPY were used for feature extraction. The features extracted (Shall be explained at the conference) helped to predict three emotional states of an autistic child using supervised machine learning algorithms (K-NN, SVM, Decision Trees) for multi-class classification. The prototype aims to be an important therapeutic tool for parents and caretakers of autistic children.
Outline of Poster Presentation:
- Developing AutiGlove prototype and overcoming challenges during data acquisition
- Live Demo of AutiGlove Prototype
- Introduce various biosignal processing tools available in Python (Neurokit, BioSPPy) for feature extraction
- Mapping the Physiological Signals with human emotions using supervised Machine Learning Algorithms
- Basic knowledge of Python
- Basic understanding of micro-controllers and sensors
Slides on which the poster will be based: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/15wgc8x7voXss1uGUfWTq6-SllKQzc95yJo1NvnRQXqE/edit?usp=sharing
The poster is WIP.
Niharika Krishnan is a Machine Learning Engineer at TCS, Chennai where she builds ML & NLP solutions for Walmart, US. With a passion for Data Science and when not at work, she focuses on projects in the healthcare space. She believes in leveraging technology to help people lead better lives. AutiGlove was one such projects during her undergraduation days.
She has been contributing to the women in tech community as a Mentor @Learn IT Girl & speaker at Women Techmakers, Global Diversity CFP meetups in Chennai. With her love for python and a will to encourage young women into tech, she took up the initiative of PyLadies Chapter in Chennai along with her batchmate Vishakha.
Vishakha Tiwari is an enthusiastic and innovative software engineer working at Value Labs, Hyderabad. She is passionate about developing Big Data solution and has various certifications and a research paper in the field.
She believes in giving back to the community and non-profit organizations which hold a special place in her heart. She is a co-organizer of PyLadies Chennai chapter, a mentorship group with a focus on helping more women to become active participants in the Python open-source community.