Friday, July 13, 2007

Robots Teach Social Skills to Humans

According a Wired
article, humanoid robots are being used in British schools to teach
social skills to autistic children. It's a perfect match because robots
don't grow impatient with the children and autistic children frequently
don't react well to human teachers. The humanoid robots offer much
easier to understand interactions to the child, providing a stepping
stone to dealing with the more complex interaction needed with other
humans. The teacherbots are known as KASPAR robots (Kinesics and
Synchronisation in Personal Assistant Robotics) and cost about $4.3
million each. They consist of a silicon-rubber mask over an aluminum
frame with 8 DOF in the head and neck, 6 DOF in the arms and hands. It
also has 2 DOF eyes with integrated video cameras.


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