Lifestyles continue to evolve in terms of how we communicate, work, and engage in recreational activities. Having access to a network of family and friends is something we all cherish in our lives. For many on the autism spectrum, sensory challenges override the desire to have meaningful social relationships. Subsequently, it is not uncommon to have strong bonds with a pet, a favorite cartoon or television character, or even imaginary friends.
Given the propensity towards forming attachments with strangers, or even inanimate objects, having a friendship with a robot doesn’t seem like such a different idea. In fact, there are benefits of having a robot programmed to not only perform errands, but also engage in stimulating conversations. Fortunately, robots can be programmed to be much more than conversation pieces, offering supplementary health and safety advantages.