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The Augmented Knights Castle

Picture of the Augmented Knights CastleThe AKC

   

The Augmented Knights' Castle (AKC) project is in collaboration with the AKC designer, Steve Hinske during his time at ETH, Zurich and his students there. The AKC is a set of Playmobil ® toys augmented with RFID tags, allowing the characters to speak or make different sounds when they are placed in different locations. Children certainly enjoy this novel toy, and they learn from it: they remember facts about medieval life up to two months after a single play session. But in what other ways does this augmentation change the way children play together with the toy? Might it be useful to support social and pretend play in children on the autism spectrum? We are currently running studies using the AKC to assess its role in supporting cooperative group play (see our publications page) and in particular in supporting play in children with autism spectrum conditions.