Over the years, we’ve seen all sorts of humanoid robots ranging from the very life-like to the ghostly that were all created to serve mankind from telepresence to assisting the elderly. Although the robot population seems concentrated in Japan, today we happen upon Kaspar, a robot from London that researchers have developed to help autistic children.
Although I’d have nightmares of Kaspar due to his uncanny resemblance to Chucky, he apparently doesn’t frighten autistic children. A four-year-old autistic girl named Eden Sawczenko improved a lot on social interaction after having several 10-minute sessions interacting with the robot alongside a scientist who controlled the robot with a remote.
Kaspar is programmed to smile, laugh, frown, blink, and wave his arms. There are several versions of Kaspar and the most advanced one can play the Nintendo Wii. The latest version also now has silicone patches that feel like skin. Built by scientists at the University of Hertfordshire at a cost of about 1,300 pounds or $2,118, Kaspar has already helped almost 300 autistic children in Britain.