Rene the robot can sing, dance an entertain. But scientists from Croatia have designed the little humanoid to do much more than just make a child giggle.
The little robot comes armed with a camera and a microphone. Rene can monitor responses from the child and log the child’s eye contact.
To a child with autism, a humanoid robot is non-threatening, and more fun than sitting with an occupational therapist or another adult. The little robot can also adapt it’s programming to challenge the child, and produce simple repetitive learning games.
The robot was not designed however to replace professionals and specialists, it is a tool to study children’s behaviour.
One mother with an autistic child told Euronews:
“Filip actually watched and was focused on the robot which is not his usual behaviour. He normally runs around and his focus only lasts a few seconds. But when he saw the robot, he looked at it, he sat down, he studied it, and he was very interested.”