Kaspar, the robot with a human touch for kids with autism
Kaspar, a round-eyed, child-sized robot, has been created by researchers at the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom to help autistic children bridge the gap with other children, family members and teachers.
It is of most help for kids between the ages of 5 to 10 years, which is a critical age gap as early intervention increases the chances of improvement in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Kaspar aims to teach children basic human communication and emotions, physical interaction and personal hygiene. Kaspar can respond to touch, play games with children and also encourage certain physical behaviours, while discouraging inappropriate ones.
For instance, when tickled, Kaspar will laugh and respond cheerfully. But when pinched, it will tell the child that it hurts. An adult with the help of a remote controls Kaspar's movements.
He can tell children to follow him when he does an action, improve their confidence by asking them to sing or play the drum with him, play games with them to help children learn social interaction and teach them personal hygiene by showing them how to brush their teeth and to eat with a spoon.