A robot which was developed by researchers at the University to help children with autism to learn about social interaction has recently appeared in over 800 news articles nationally and internationally. KASPAR the robot can be controlled and tailored to an individual child’s development needs. While obviously non-human, it has simple human features, minimal expressions and predictable movements.
The robot acts as a mediator, encouraging children to communicate with people, at first indirectly and then directly. Dr Ben Robins, senior research fellow and Kasper also featured on a high profile national programme, the ‘Fern’ show last month, which can be viewed here: