Monday, June 04, 2007

Research: Robots to help children form relationships

Here is a link to an article about the IROMEC project at the University of Hertfordshire. IROMEC stands for "Interactive Robotic Social Mediators as Companions"

Here is a quote from the article:

"Over the next three years, IROMEC will investigate how robotic toys can become social mediators encouraging children with disabilities to discover a range of play skills, from solitary to social and cooperative play and provide opportunities for other children and carers/teachers or parents to “join” in."

In my opinion, it might be less expensive to develop social skills interaction applications that incorporate virtual humans, and possibly more effective. For example, the virtual "friend" could reside on a multi-media enabled touch table, such as Microsoft's Surface.

What do you think?

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