Technology September 16, 2017
This cuddly robot helps teach autistic kids how to interact socially
She is called Blossom and she is a doll with a soft, knitted body that can move, bounce and nod in a way that makes her seem warm and cuddly.
But Blossom is not like any other doll. She has been designed to be a robot that can act like a social companion for kids with autism.
Kids who fall on the autism spectrum can have trouble picking up social cues like body language and facial expressions. Blossom could be used to show these interactions in a easy to understand way.
The robot has been designed by a Cornell University in association with Google. By designing Blossom to detect and react to certain emotions, the idea is that it will teach the kids watching alongside it by example.
The skeleton is made from soft materials like rubber bands and silicon that make for lifelike movements. It has wooden ears and knitted wool, and looks warm and familiar. Depending on how you dress it up, Blossom resembles a cat, a bunny, or an octopus.
The project is still in its early stages, and it is not clear when it will be introduced to kids.
To get an idea of just how cute she is, click on this link to watch the video – https://youtu.be/okFoKJK_N3w
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