Greek university develops medical robot to support children with autism

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“Margarita,” a pillow-like, blue and purple robot shaped as a flower, has been developed by LIRES Laboratory of the Department of Educational and Social Policy of the University of Macedonia, to create a bridge for health professionals treating children with autism and social challenges.

Professor Nikos Fahandidis from the LIRES Laboratory said the robot is a “tool for professionals.”

“The interaction is easier and so the trainer or the therapist can use Margarita as a ‘bridge’ to carry out their training program, evaluation, or diagnosis program,” the Professor said.

University of Macedonia.

Professor Fahandidis said children can learn about emotions by observing the various expressions on Margarita’s face, whose facial expression changes to mimic the expressions of others.

Children can embrace Margarita like a cuddly toy or have it “sit” in a high chair.

Margarita, or “Daisy” in English, has been trialled in schools and studies showed that social skills in children with autism improved to a notable extent.

Source: AMNA.gr.

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