Robot Kaspar made to help autistic children

Robot Kaspar made to help autistic childrenIn Britain in an attempt to help autistic children, a human-sized robot that looks like a human being has been made by scientists.

The robot has been named Kaspar and he can wave his arms, can smile at kids, frown, blink and also laugh. Children will be more comfortable with Kaspar as silicone patches cover him and this will make him feel like skin.

The robot is also taken for a supervised session by researchers every week to a pre-school in Stevenage, north of London.

A scientist works on Kaspar with a remote control and children, whose autism ranges from mild to severe, are given 10 minutes to play with the robot.

As a part of scientific research, Kaspar has been made accessible to about 300 children who suffer from autism, a disorder that affects development of social interaction and communication.

Dr Ben Robins, a senior research fellow in computer science at the University of Hertfordshire said, "Children with autism don't react well to people because they don't understand facial expressions." Dr Robins specializes in working with autistic children.

He added that it is easy to predict a robot thus making them safer.

Parents and experts were however warned by Dr Abigael San, a childhood clinical psychologist in London and spokeswoman for the British Psychological Society, not to trust robots much.