The effectiveness of Kaspar in supporting children with autism has been demonstrated through extensive research studies in schools and homes. A first-stage clinical study to explore the use of Kaspar as an intervention for the NHS will begin later in 2017.
Independent from the University of Hertfordshire research team, Dutch researcher Claire Huijnen has carried out comprehensive focus groups with teachers and therapists, who are very positive about the use of Kaspar for children with autism.
From lab to classroom and clinic
Researchers are now seeking funding to take Kaspar beyond the lab and into every school, home and, potentially, hospital or clinic that needs it.
Professor Kerstin Dautenhahn and her team aim to turn the latest Kaspar prototype into an affordable learning resource that meets international manufacturing standards in order to benefit as many children with autism as possible.
Psychologists have also suggested a role for Kaspar in supporting children with other social interaction difficulties, such as communication issues brought on by a form of psychological trauma, or to support children with Specific Language Impairments.
The robot puts children at ease, and allows them to explore communication and interaction in an enjoyable way.
Broadening the use of Kaspar beyond children with autism would allow the robot to help many more people.