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Robot With Skin to Improve Human Communication

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Computer scientists at the University of Hertfordshire are covering a child-sized humanoid robot with artificial skin in an effort to help autistic children improve the way they interact with the robot, Kaspar, and other people. The robotic skin will be embedded with tactile sensors that will enable the sensor technology to provide feedback from the body of the robot. Kaspar will be able to respond to the different ways that children touch it in order to help them play in a more socially appropriate manner.

"Children with autism have problems with touch, often with either touching or being touched," says 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." The work at Hertfordshire is part of a European consortium's three-year Roboskin project.

From The University of Hertfordshire
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