Robots could be introduced in classrooms across the UK to help children with autism.
The use of technology in the classroom is nothing new, but Topcliffe Primary School in Castle Vale, Birmingham, is breaking new ground by helping with the development of robot 'buddies'.
The knee-high humanoid robots can dance to Michael Jackson's Thriller, play games and emulate Tai Chi.
They are made by French firm Aldebaran, who are working with education experts from the University of Birmingham to develop interactive learning. and are bing showcased at the university as part of the Economic and Social Research Council festival of Social Sciences.
Dr Karen Guldberg, from the university's school of education, said: 'We have been looking at how technology can support pupils with autism to communicate more effectively.
'Pupils and teachers are experimenting with the robots and other technologies in a developmental way and they are showing significant benefits for the classroom. The robots have been modelling good behaviour and acting as buddies.'
Research shows that children with autism often find computers and technology safe, motivating and engaging, particularly in the areas of social interaction and communication.
Ian Lowe, headteacher at Topcliffe Primary, said: 'The robots have been brilliant at supporting autistic children with their learning.
'You can programme them to teach language, play games and model behaviour. We have even used them in assemblies.
'In the future we are looking to see if they can be used to support learning not just at school but at home as well.'
And the pupils love them. Topcliffe teaches around 30 children with various levels of autism.
Seven-year-old Joshua says he likes playing memory games with the robots, called Max and Ben.
Daniel and Khalim say they like to watch their electronic buddies dance.
And Stephen says he likes it when Max tells him Star Wars stories.
The teachers say the fact that the boys are so keen to talk about the robots shows how valuable they are in helping autistic children communicate.