European robots assist children in forming relationships

We've seen robots that help humans diagnose autism, but a team of researchers at the University of Hertfordshire have developed a number of robots and humanoids that can help autistic children cope and form relationships. The €3.22 million ($4.33 million) Interactive Robotic Social Mediators as Companions (IROMEC) project is being funded by the European Sixth Framework, and seeks to "investigate the use of robotic toys to enable children with disabilities to develop social skills." A number of creations have been concocted in order to help youngsters with learning disabilities interact more normally, and KASPAR (Kinesics and Synchronisation in Personal Assistant Robotics) has emerged as the latest android to come to the rescue. The team isn't satisfied just yet, however, as it purportedly plans to further "investigate how robotic toys can become social mediators" within the next three years.

[Via Physorg]