Project information

KASPAR Project

We want to use a robot called KASPAR to enhance learning, social communication, social interaction and understanding of emotions in pore-school children who have autism, Asperger's Syndrome or related communication difficulties and challenging behaviour.

3 years

Charity information: Tracks Autism

Tracks Autism
  • Need

    Need

    Children with autism have difficulty when trying to interact with others. This is because they don't understand people's facial expressions, feelings and emotions. The project's aim is to help autistic children develop their communication and social interaction skills.

    Solution

    KASPAR is a robot. Robots are safer for autistic children because there's less for them to interpret and they are very predictable. KASPAR will act as a mediator between autistic children and other people through shared attention and encouraging interaction.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To use KASPAR to enhance learning, communication and social interaction in autistic children.

    Activities

    » Action research to be conducted by lead teacher
    » Develop action plan to use KASPAR most effectively
    » Involvement of children, staff, parents and carers to identify ideas, strategies and games developed with KASPAR to be used at school and at home.
    » Share information on TRACKS website and Facebook page to present to a wider audience.

    Success will be... a fully developed, stand-alone KASPAR which can be used in all situations at TRACKS Autism and in autistic children's own homes.


    Aim 2

    Work with Adaptive Systems Research Group at Hertfordshire University in this pioneering project.

    Activities

    » Work alongside Professor Ben Robins with the children to learn how we can programme KASPAR to meet the needs of autistic children.
    » To work with a new and adapted KASPAR at TRACKS to develop a programme based on evidence sand data from Activity 1.

    Success will be... a version of KASPAR with its own on-board power and computer, which will be able to interact with autistic children across a wide variety of situation.


  • Impact

    Impact

    Autistic children will be enabled to communicate with adults and other children; will. be more socially aware; and will not be afraid of interaction with others. KASPAR will demonstrate a new-found confidence that autistic children will gain thanks to this robot's success.

    Risk

    KASPAR is at the cutting edge of the autism/technology interface. The project could take longer or cost more than we or the University envisage. As a result, bothy the University and TRACKS Autism are planning a flexible programme to ensure that technological challenges or reduced funding at any point do not derail the project.

    Reporting

    We will produce an annual written report in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire which we will send to donors. We will also organise "open days" so that donors can see KASPAR in action, talk to TRACKS and University staff, and see the difference their gifts are making.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £38,553

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £33,600 Teacher Salary + on-costs
      £2,720 Training staff, parents, professionals
      £2,233 Overheads marketing, admin, development

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Equitable Charitable Trust £10,000 Conditional
  • Background

    Location

    The project will take place at Lodge Farm Annexe where TRACKS Autism is located; and at the University of Hertfordshire.

    Beneficiaries

    Autistic children aged 2-5 years resident in Hertfordshire, their parents and their carers. In the longer term, autistic children UK-wide and world-wide will benefit from the KASPAR project.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    TRACKS Autism is one of only 3 charities in the UK delivering advanced services for autistic children aged 2-5 years under one roof. In 2011 TRACKS was graded OUTSTANDING by Ofsted.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Andrea Diggle

    Headteacher. Andrea has enormous experience in working with children who have autism, Asperger's Syndrome and other communication difficulties

    Professor Ben Robins

    Leads Adaptive Systems Research Group at University of Hertfordshire. The person behind KASPAR and its success so fart.