09 Mar '11, 9pm

Kaspar, the robot, helps autistic children in UK

STEVENAGE (England) - Scientists have built a human-looking, child-sized robot to help autistic children in Britain. The robot, named Kaspar, is programmed to do things like smile, frown, laugh, blink and wave his arms. He is covered in silicone patches that feel like skin to help children become more comfortable with touching people. Once a week, researchers take the robot to a pre-school in Stevenage, north of London, for a supervised session. The children, whose autism ranges from mild to severe, play with Kaspar for up to 10 minutes alongside a scientist who works the robot with a remote control. So far, almost 300 children with autism, a disorder that affects development of social interaction and communication, have played with him as part of scientific research. "Children with autism don't react well to people because they don't understand facial expressions," said D...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/World/EDC110310-0000192/Kaspar...

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Help at hand for parents of autistic children

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