Humanoid robot to help autistic children communicate

A humanoid robot with skin sensors to help children with autism socialise with other children, parents, and therapists.

kaspar 2 (534x343)
© University of Hertfordshire

A child-sized humanoid robot, Kaspar, created by researchers at the University of Hertfordshire will be trialled by the NHS.

Kaspar is designed to help children with autism communicate and respond to touch. According to The Independent, Kaspar has skin sensors “encourage certain tactile behaviours” and discourage “inappropriate” ones.

Dr Karen Irvine, trial coordinator, said, “The overall key aim of this study, and all the work with Kaspar, is to help children with autism explore basic human communication and emotions as well as learn about socially acceptable physical interaction. ”

Using the humanoid robot, children with autism between the age five and ten can be taught how to mingle with other children as well as parents.

Dr Irvine explained, “Children with autism can sometimes find this kind of interaction difficult so Kaspar helps bridge the gap with other children, teachers, family members and therapists.”

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