You Play. I learn.

Understanding children's play to gain insight into their development

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AutoPlay is a SUPSI project

AutoPlay is our main project founded on top of our philosophy, whose goal is to understand the objective evolution of children. AutoPlay is a concept based on the philosophy "You Play. I Learn.". Our idea is to gain insight into the developmental patterns of children through the unobtrusive observation of AUTOnomous PLAY. As children play with sensor-equipped toys, their manipulation patterns are measured and evaluated. This gives us the opportunity to: perform an early analysis of the evolution of the child; identify children with specific needs due to a fragility of the neurological development (i.e., autism); reduce the time to the treatment which become more effective; support parents and child living in vulnerable conditions (i.e., ludic deprivation).

Our philosophy

We believe in the power of technology as a mean for enhancing our lives. However, an inappropriate usage of technology can negatively influence us, and especially our kids. This is the reason why we mainly focus on children and families, and for them we envision a clean usage of technology, which is not anymore a mere mean for entertainment, but an innovative support for a good development. Thanks to the technology we aim at reducing inequality in the social and educational systems in order to make health accessible to everybody!

Who we are

We are an applied research group of SUPSI (University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerlan) with complementary expertise in occupational therapy, computer science, and data science. We are interested in the usage of a clean technology as a support for an healthy youth.


We sustain an healthy use of technology to improve children and youngsters development and quality of life.

The integration of different expertise can allow clinical, social and pedagogical needs to be translated into feasible successful technology. We envision the production of innovative technological products, designed on the base of real social-medical requirements specified by the main stakeholders.

Our research is focused on three overlapping areas:
  • Clinical area to improve diagnosis
  • Rehabilitation area to improve social inclusion and sensory-motor skills
  • Entertainment area to promote a funny and healthy development

Technology is not a dangerous enemy, the bad use of it can be dangerous. Our mission is also in sustaining families promoting a correct and healthy use of technology.

Project Phases


Phase 0

Feasibility study

Analysis of infants toys manipulation.

Phase 1

Methodology Development

Innovative and powerful methodology for objective observation of infants' ludic development.


We are a truly interdisciplinary team. Our heterogeneity is our strength.

Michela Papandrea

Michela Papandrea


I am a computer engineer with a Phd in Informatics. My core expertise are in sensor data analysis, mobile sensing and computing, pervasive sensing, data analysis for human mobility modeling and human activity recognition.
Emmanuelle Rossini

Emmanuelle Rossini


I am a pediatric occupational therapist (OT), highly interested in neurodevelopmental disorders, as Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). I was involved in the creation of an innovative method of treatment, called SAS (Social Skills Development) based on the principle of experiential learning.
Francesca Faraci

Francesca Faraci


I am a physicist with a PhD in Electronics. My competences are in statistical data processing, biomedical advanced data analysis, experimental design. My focus is in translational research, Bridging Science and Engineering in the medical and in particular in the neurological field.
Alessandro Puiatti

Alessandro Puiatti


I am an electrical engineer (MS), and I have more than 20 years of experience maturated both in the industrial and academic domain. My actual core expertise are on wearable sensing technologies and networks, personal health systems, mobile health and health data science.


What they say about us

AutoPlay: a smart toys-kit for an objective analysis of children ludic behavior and development

Published in: 2018 IEEE International Symposium on Medical Measurements and Applications (MeMeA)

Tessiner Zeitung

Autismus früher erkennen

Ticino Management

Project of the month



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SUPSI Manno, Switzerland
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