Robot helps social skills for autistic children

The Darwin-OP2 robot and its creator, Chung Hyuk Park of George Washington University.(Photo: George Washington University) WASHINGTON — Kicking a red ball fiercely across the laboratory floor like a professional soccer player, Darwin-OP2, a human-like robot, says in a monotone voice that he is excited to “be friends and play soccer.” Darwin-OP2 isn’t a toy, but one of the most advanced examples of research and development into what is known as assisted robotics and humanoid interaction. He has been programmed by Chung Hyuk Park, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at George Washington University, to help children with autism to be more engaged with society. “The ultimate goal would be to utilize a robotic system to help the children with autism in communicating with others more easily and feeling more comfortable in…

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