Small, cute and furry interactive "social robots" called Petimos may soon be your best bet to keeping your child safe online. They are designed by scientists to help protect children when they make friends on social networks.
Petimos, which work in conjunction with an online social network called Petimo-World in which they are represented by avatars, are due to be launched later this year.
AdvertisementThe revolutionary robos are aimed at 7 to 10-year-olds.
Children will only be able to accept new online "friends" if their Petimos are brought into physical contact first, to guard against cyberbullies and paedophiles masquerading as children, reports New Scientist.
"Internet and text-based communication is only a small part of human communication that we have evolved with," says the device's inventor, Adrian David Cheok at the National University of Singapore. "I want to use new media to help develop more natural human forms of communication. Petimo is one step in this direction."