Learning Activity System Design for Autistic Children Using Virtual Pink Dolphins

  • Noel Kok Hwee Chia
  • Yiyu Cai
  • Norman Kiak Nam Kee
  • Nadia Thalmann
  • Bianyue Yang
  • Jianmin Zheng
  • Daniel Thalmann


Since the identification of the first cases of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in 1943 by Dr Leo Kanner, the number of reported ASD cases as well as research studies expanding our understanding of the disorder has increased rapidly and significantly. In terms of ASD treatment, there is a wide range of conventional as well as complementary and alternative interventions. Since the beginning of the new millennium, interest in Virtual-reality (VR) technology within the domains of special education and neuro-rehabilitative medicine has been growing rapidly. Today, the VR application research studies have offered more opportunities and a wider scope for developing innovative autism treatment. This chapter presents one VR application in autism treatment using artificial agents or bots (3D virtual pink dolphins) in a virtual environment (3D dolphinarium) through an interdisciplinary collaboration among engineering, new media, arts, and education at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. The collaborative effort has resulted in the development of the Learning Activity System Design for autistic children using virtual pink dolphins to serve as a platform for future development in the VR-based autism treatment.


Activity learning system Autism  Bot Virtual-reality  Virtual dolphins  



This project is supported by the seed grant funded by the Institute for Media Innovation, Nanyang Technological University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noel Kok Hwee Chia
    • 1
  • Yiyu Cai
    • 2
    • 3
  • Norman Kiak Nam Kee
    • 1
  • Nadia Thalmann
    • 2
  • Bianyue Yang
    • 3
  • Jianmin Zheng
    • 4
  • Daniel Thalmann
    • 2
  1. 1.National Institute of EducationNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeRepublic of Singapore
  2. 2.Institute for Media InnovationNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeRepublic of Singapore
  3. 3.School of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeRepublic of Singapore
  4. 4.School of Computer EngineeringNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeRepublic of Singapore

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