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 ")

Soft Robotics - Now With 3D Printed Sensors!
'A series of chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues, which permitted it to gauge to an ounce the amount of pressure necessary to snap a bone...' - Roger Zelazny, 1966.

Scaly Yet Soft Robotic Snake
Love those robotic sneks.

Tiny Rubbery Robot To Take 'Fantastic Voyage'
I think that I will wait for other volunteers for this one.

Disney Vyloo Robots With Personality
'Let's build robots with Genuine People Personalities...' - Douglas Adams, 1979.


  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

Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

TMS Decreases Belief In God, Increases Belief In Immigrants
'... setting up the same currents, the same basic ideas, in them all.'

Loomo Mini Transporter Robot Companion You Ride On
'Slowly the [robot] horse raised its head, wiggled its ears, blinked twice, gave a tentative whinny.'

Soft Robotics - Now With 3D Printed Sensors!
'A series of chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues, which permitted it to gauge to an ounce the amount of pressure necessary to snap a bone...'

AI Tool Lynx Insight And The Cybernetic Newsroom
'The structure,... was once a great homeostatic newspaper, the New York Times. It printed itself directly below us...'

Espresso Telescope Searches For Exoplanets
'These instruments were the wonderful ones our astronomers had perfected.'

Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
'Dew collectors,' he muttered, enchanted by the simple beauty of such a scheme.

Manned Maneuvering Unit From 1984
'The glittering little rocket bolted to the black iron behind him.'

Astronaut Gets Younger In Space
'So what we're looking for now is not an antibiotic - an anti-life drug - but an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug...'

Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
'Any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a yes or no.'

IJOP Integrated Joint Operations Platform China's Minority Report?
'All day long the idiots babbled, imprisoned in their special high-backed chairs...'

HushMe Bluetooth Device Reinvents The Hush-A-Phone
'Talking into a hush-a-phone which he had plugged into the telephone jack...'

Ultrathin Brain Needle Developed At MIT
Putting drugs into a selected cubic millimeter within the living brain.

Tesla Semi Truck Now At Work
Why wait? Tesla Semi now hard at work.

Illustris: The Next Generation Of Universe Simulation
'This digital device was ... A machine able literally to contain the Universe Itself...'

Scaly Yet Soft Robotic Snake
Love those robotic sneks.

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.