When young children play, they often manipulate toys that have been specifically designed to accommodate and stimulate their perceptual-motor skills. Robotic playmates capable of physically manipulating toys have the potential to engage children in therapeutic play and augment the beneficial interactions provided by overtaxed care givers and costly therapists. To date, assistive robots for children have almost exclusively focused on social interactions and teleoperative control. This project represents progress towards the creation of robots that can engage children in manipulative play.
Alex Trevor and Prof. Charlie Kemp in collaboration with Prof. Ayanna Howard and the HumAns Lab are the main investigators on this project which has been generously funded by the Center for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (RIM@GT).