Aisoy Blog #5

Aisoy EMO Robot. A new friend for children with Autism and Special Needs.

 

 

Aisoy EMO is a robot for children with Autism and other Special Needs. It is a fantastic tool to aid in the development of logical-maths, reading, and social-emotional skills. Find out why.

 

 

Aisoy EMO Robot for children with Autism

 

The number of children diagnosed with autism has increased substantially in recent years. It is estimated that the incidence is 2 out of 100 children, who have learning difficulties of different kinds depending on whether their abilities are high or low and also on their verbal communication skills. They often have trouble understanding social and emotional cues. Helping them with these aspects of their development at an early age is important because it can have great long-term benefits.

In particular, human relationships can be overwhelming for them: eye contact, facial expressions, double meanings, etc. Robots can be the key when it comes to learning to recognize that social information. They face these problems on a daily basis, generating stress and concern about their reaction and that of others, what they will think, if what they say or do will bother others.

One of the tools that are showing important results in this field is the use of robots as an educational resource. The basis of this success is simple: robots are non-judgmental, they don’t care if you answer a question wrong, and they never get bored, angry or upset about anything. Parents and teachers do not always control their tone of voice or non-verbal expressions. Instead, a robot is predictable and always offers the same response, which is comforting for children.

The first time people hear this, it sounds weird, contradictory even. Does a robot help a person’s social emotional development? However, several studies conducted by Universities in the United Kingdom and the United States have shown that the use of robots is so attractive that in most cases it increases children’s willingness to interact and reduces their discomfort during interaction.

Robots, specifically social robots, have simpler facial expressions, with a smooth tone of voice, aspects that together make the child pay more attention as it reduces the level of distraction, increasing their attention and improving their performance. To this must be added the security and confidence that the child acquires thanks to the robot. As a consequence, they not only develop their skills but also promote their mental and emotional well-being.

Learning by playing with robots for children with Autism like Aisoy EMO

One of the important things to ensure that the use of the robot is fruitful is that children have a good time with it, because this will increase their motivation to learn.

We have observed that children enjoy doing activities with the Aisoy EMO robot. For this reason, we have worked hard together with the Brave Up team to develop more than 100 activities of different levels in the logical-mathematical, social-emotional and literacy areas.

These activities are based on card games. For years these methods have been shown to have been successful in educating children with Autism given their ability to interact and learn non-verbally. And it is really important in those children with severe autism as it takes the pressure off of verbal interaction.

The dynamic consists of the robot asking about a card and the child has to show him which one is the correct one from a selection of them. You can watch a video here related to learning geometric shapes.

Depending on the child, these activities can be carried out independently or assisted by parents or teachers.

The same dynamic is repeated for the socio-emotional and reading-writing blocks. The case of the first one is a bit special because one of the problems that children with autism face is understanding emotions and empathy. Understanding how someone might feel and responding appropriately can be extremely difficult for them. Hence, we have developed a specific module to help you in this area.

Some examples

Surely you have heard of Juan, a non-verbal child with autism, who, thanks to his 10-minute daily work with Aisoy EMO, has achieved great achievements. On the one hand, to develop their social skills by speaking after several years of silence, and on the other, to calm their outbursts, going from hours of stress to a few minutes.

There are other cases here in Spain according to what their parents tell us. The first is a child who has therapies on Fridays. It was the worst day for him and his mother. The boy was in a bad mood all day because he didn’t like it and after therapy it was even worse. The mother did not know what to do. He told the therapist about the existence of our Aisoy EMO. They tested it and the magic worked. Fridays of stress were forgotten. Now it was a happy day because he was going to play with his new friend.

There are many others: Children who incorporate Aisoy EMO into their lives by being a great friend to whom they write stories or celebrate parties in their honor. It is fascinating how we homologate an artificial being with a living being and the effect unfolds.

Well, to be honest, not all of them are hits. The variety is so high that there are children who are a little scared at first, but later they become inseparable and there are others who do not, and do not want to see it again. Fortunately, although there have been cases, these have been a minority.

As we always say, until you try it, you don’t know if it will really help your child or not. That is something that everyone has to value.

Meanwhile, we continue working so that, with the information that parents share with us, we can increasingly help a greater variety of people. Will you be the next?