The project CASPER is conformed for a team of multidisciplinary professionals having as main objective to add value to the research results and experiences on cognitive assistance for hospitalized children using social pet robots.

CASPER is a Cognitive Assistive Social Pet Robot. It is cognitive in the sense that it is able to capture information from the interaction with the environment; assistive because it will be assisting children; in fact, socially assisting children because it will be working on social aspects of the intervention; and a pet robot since this is the shape that it will take.

It will be primarily a robot designed for hospitalized children, having in mind a broader scope of scenarios, including caring environments, pedagogical units, educational institutions and home, for engaging particular parents-children interactions. Hence, it will be developed with the aim to cover three social services to:

  1. Reduce pain and anxiety in children when they are submitted to some intervention, preferably in ER (short-term interaction) and regular interventions with chronic diseases (mid-term interaction);
  2. Increase engagement in the children – institution – parents network in very stressful situations (oncology unit, recovery unit, social conflicts); and
  3. Engage children in educational treatments from several perspectives (social skills with autistic children, healthy meals with anorexic children, meal recommendations and drug delivery with diabetic children).