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Use of lean robotic communication to improve social response of children with autismTalaei-Khoei, Amir; Lewis, Lundy; Kaul, Mala; Daniel, Jay; Sharma, Rajeev; University of Nevada; Southern New Hampshire University; University of Derby; University of Waikato (Association for Information Systems, 2017-01-01)In light of inconclusive results reported in the literature on the benefits of using robots to foster social skills in autistic children, this paper assesses the use of robots with no facial expressions to create basic structured communication with autistic children. We address the complexity of communication when autistic children cannot understand the unintentional facial expressions of human instructors in training sessions. The paper reports 19 training sessions of a mild autistic child interacting with a humanoid robot with approximate duration of 20 minutes each. It was observed that during these 19 sessions, the child improved his responses to the directives given by the robot. The paper discusses the results in terms of the implications for professionals in the field. Further, the study serves as a proof of concept for future contributions to media richness theory.