KASPAR Robot W/RoboSkin Teaches Autistic Kids Interaction

The KASPAR child-sized humanoid robot works with autistic children, to help them learn about social interaction. KASPAR has RoboSkin, skin with embedded tactile sensors to detect different kinds of touch.

“Children with autism have problems with touch, often with either touching or being touched,” said Professor Kerstin Dautenhahn. “The idea is to put skin on the robot as touch is a very important part of social development and communication and the tactile sensors will allow the robot to detect different types of touch and it can then encourage or discourage different approaches.”


(KASPAR robot)

Our aim is to study what types of human-robot interactions a minimal set of expressive robot features can afford. The goal is not perfect realism, but optimal realism for rich interaction. KASPAR has 8 degrees of freedom in the head and neck and 6 in the arms and hands. The face is a silicon-rubber mask, which is supported on an aluminium frame. It has 2 DOF eyes fitted with video cameras, and a mouth capable of opening and smiling.

The RoboSkin project is being undertaken by a consortium of European universities.

The first [objective] is to develop new sensor technologies that can provide tactile feedback from large areas of the robot body.

The second objective is to develop and integrate fundamental cognitive structures for efficient and safe utilisation of tactile data in terms of a robot body image, safe reflexive reactions to tactile events and flexible representations of spatially and temporally distributed patterns of physical contact.

The last objective is to develop cognitive mechanisms that use tactile feedback to improve human-robot interaction capabilities particularly in the domains of programming through demonstration and robot assisted play.

The following video shows autistic children interacting with KASPAR; this clip is more than a year old, and mostly describes the effort to draw children in with interpretable gestures.


(KASPAR robot works with autistic kids)

Science fiction readers may recall David, the robotic child from Supertoys Last All Summer Long, a 1969 short story by Brian Aldiss.

"There have been mechanicals on the market with mini-computers for brains - plastic things without life, super-toys - but we have at last found a way to link computer circuitry with synthetic flesh..."
(Read more about synthetic flesh)

Note that Aldiss is referring to more than just a skin-like surface; this is a realistic, sensor-embedded skin and flesh covering - just like RoboSkin.

Read more about various efforts to improve robot skin:

Researchers have made other efforts to reach and help autistic children with robots; see Nanny Robot Senses Emotions Of Autistic Children.

From KASPAR HRI Robot and AlphaGalileo via Science Daily.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/1/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Pipefish Robot Checks Pipes Cheap
Just like capsule endoscopy, but for bigger pipes. That go underground.

Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.' - Harry Harrison, 1956.

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

Cassie 'Halfbot' Best Half (Lower) Of Humanoid Robot
We can always make it limp along if it gets threatening.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Made In Space To Manufacture Optical Fiber In Orbit
'Mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'

Dune Fans! Power Your Devices With Sweaty Shirts
Yet another power source from humans.

Orwell's Memory Hole Looms Larger Thanks To Nvidia
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'

Pipefish Robot Checks Pipes Cheap
Just like capsule endoscopy, but for bigger pipes. That go underground.

Nifty New SDS Space Debris Sensor For ISS
'Their radars... could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age.'

NanoRacks Space Station Module Concept Validated
Space junk into space architecture.

Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...'

SciFiQ Science Fiction Writing Aid
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'

Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.'

Poland Starts With 1000 Warmate 'Suicide Drones'
'Royal Security had told the pods to electrocute you or blast you into chum.'

Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Fiorello Bodoni, you inspire all of us.

Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
Did you think of Star Wars?

Elon Musk Fears A 'Fleet-Wide Hack' Of Autonomous Vehicles
'Khan grinned. 'It's alive! Bu-wahhahahah!''

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.