Kaspar is a child-sized humanoid robot, developed by the Adaptive Systems research group at the University of Hertfordshire, that assists in cognitive development research. KASPAR stands for Kinesics And Synchronisation in Personal Assistant Robotics.
Currently Kaspar’s purpose is to encourage and instil appropriate social interaction skills in children with autism. In due time, Kaspar will be covered with a high tech roboskin developed by Dr Daniel Polani. This artificial skin will be embedded with tactile sensors that can provide feedback to autistic children as they interact with the robot.
“The goal is to make the robot able to respond to different styles of how the children play with Kaspar in order to help the children to develop ‘socially appropriate’ playful interaction (e.g. not too aggressive) when interacting with the robot and other people.”
What is autism?
Autism is a brain development disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior.
What are the common types of treatment?
Occupational therapy helps improve independent function and teaches basic skills (e.g., buttoning a shirt, bathing).
Physical therapy involves using exercise and other physical measures (e.g., massage, heat) to help patients control body movements.
Applied behavior analysis is based on the theory that rewarded behavior is more likely to be repeated than behavior that is ignored.
Sensory integration therapy is a type of behavior modification that focuses on helping autistic patients cope with sensory stimulation.
Play therapy is a type of behavior modification that is used to improve emotional development, which in turn, improves social skills and learning.
Social stories are designed to help autistic patients understand the feelings, ideas, and points of view of others, or to suggest an alternate response to a particular situation.
Speech therapy may be used to help patients gain the ability to speak.
Picture exchange communication systems (PECS) enable autistic patients to communicate using pictures that represent ideas, activities, or items.
New Robot With Artificial Skin To Improve Human Communication