A ROBOT designed by the University of Hertfordshire to interact with autistic children will be demonstrated at a scientific conference on Friday.

Professor Kerstin Dautenhahn and her team will present their child-sized robot KASPAR at the Royal Society in London, where a conference will debate whether robots may play a role in future human societies.

She said: "This is an exciting opportunity to engage with the general public and people from outside robotics in order to clarify some of the myths surrounding social and intelligent robots.

"Social robots have a promising future in applications where they can help people, for example in therapy or care for the elderly.

"However, no matter how clever they may appear, they remain socially interactive machines and tools which should not pretend to be more than that.”

KASPAR (Kinesics and Synchronisation in Personal Assistant Robots) is used to study the potential therapeutic and educational benefits of "robotic mediators" for children with autism.