University of Hertfordshire Kaspar

By | 14th June 2017

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University of Hertfordshire Kaspar

University of Hertfordshire Kaspar

Meet Kaspar

Kaspar is a child-sized humanoid robot designed as a social companion to improve the lives of children with autism and other communication difficulties.

By interacting and behaving in a child-like way, Kaspar helps teachers and parents support children with autism to overcome the challenges they face in socialising and communicating with others.

Kaspar can

  • Act as a social mediator, helping children to better interact and communicate with adults and other children.
  • Help children to explore basic emotions.
  • Use a range of simplified facial and body expressions, gestures and speech to interact with children and help break social isolation.
  • Respond autonomously to touch, using sensors on its cheeks, arms, body, hands and feet, to help children learn about socially acceptable tactile interaction.
  • Engage in several interactive play scenarios to help children learn fundamental social skills such as imitation and turn-taking – skills that children with autism can find very challenging.
  • Engage pairs of children to help develop and improve collaboration skills.
  • Enable cognitive learning by playing games involving personal hygiene or food (Kaspar can hold a comb, toothbrush or spoon).
  • Engage children in confidence building activities by jointly singing a song or drumming.

Research trials

Kaspar and boy playing The robot has been developed through more than a decade’s research by the University of Hertfordshire’s world-renowned Adaptive Systems Research Group, led by Professor of Artificial Intelligence Kerstin Dautenhahn.

Following field trials in schools and family homes, researchers are working to make Kaspar available to every child that needs it. A first-stage trial to evaluate the effectiveness of Kaspar as a clinical intervention for the NHS is due to begin later in 2017.

Kaspar the social robot

Impact of Kaspar

Impact of Kaspar

Kaspar is supporting children with autism in schools, homes and hospitals to develop their social interaction skills…

Find out how kaspar is supporting children with autism

Research and development

Research and development

Groundbreaking studies of Kaspar interacting with around 170 children have guided its development…

Find out about our research involving kaspar

A Kaspar in every school

A Kaspar in every school

Researchers aim to reengineer Kaspar into an advanced and affordable robot available to any child that needs it…

Read more about a kaspar in every school

Kaspar at the Science Museum

Kaspar at the Science Museum

Kaspar is part of the Science Museum’s new blockbuster exhibition Robots…

Read more about kaspar at the science museum

News and media

News and media

Media coverage and all the latest news on the Kaspar project…

See the latest news about kaspar

Support Kaspar's social mission

Support Kaspar’s social mission

Help us take Kaspar on the next stage of his journey: into schools. homes and hospitals in the UK and overseas…

Find out how to support the kaspar project

Contact the University of Hertfordshire

University switchboard

tel +44 (0)1707 284000
fax
+44 (0)1707 284115
email ask@herts.ac.uk