The number of children diagnosed with Autism every year has been substantially increasing since the turn of the millennium. It is now estimated that 1 in 100 children are effected by the learning difficulty.
Children with autism frequently have problems in understanding social and emotional cues. It is therefore disheartening that 63% of their parents, do not believe their child has access to the educational resources that would best support them with their social and emotional development. This is a serious concern because targeting these developmental aspects at a young age can have dramatic, long-term benefits to them. As a result, the development of more innovative and engaging teaching resources for children with Autism has never been more important.
One of the major research projects that has shown exciting results in this field, is the use of robots to assist children on the Autistic spectrum. The use of robots as an educational resource for the development of social and emotional awareness has a multitude of benefits and the foundation to this concept is simple. Robots are non-judgemental. A robot does not care if you answer a question wrong, and it will never get bored, angry or upset. Even the best teachers can’t always control their tone of voice and facial expressions but you can rely on a robot for consistency and that can be a very comforting concept.
As you can see, each day is more usual to find people using social robots for helping children with autism. And here we have summarized the most popular, probably, in this field.
NAO acts as a companion to children with special needs to help bridge the gap between the world of technology and humanity's social universe. Through this initiative, NAO is making learning more fun for children while helping educators more effectively achieve learning goals.
Most children on the autism spectrum have a natural attraction towards technology and NAO's humanoid shape creates a perfect link between technology and humanity. SoftBank has developed educational games that allow children to work on verbal and non-verbal communication, emotional intelligence, mimicking, and even basic academic skills. NAO locks these skills in children and also builds their confidence.
In addition to the NAO robot, ASK NAO provides educators with a user-friendly online interface for planning, monitoring and analyzing NAO interactions and their impact on learning. This interface accomplishes the core requirements of special education in the school environment by improving communication channels between the various education professionals and parents in order to gain a better understanding of each child, automatically recording children's progress and helping to set up lessons with NAO.
Moxie is a companion robot made specifically for kids to play with every day. During a 15 to 25 minute session, your child can chat with Moxie, play some games, or read alongside it. Unlike most bots, it's not just a glorified household appliance. It can learn to recognize a child's face and their particular learning needs.
New way of learning
Children share space with Moxie that allows them to engage in a revolutionary way (different from a flat virtual character) that can provide major advantages to learning social-emotional skills.
Content developed by experts
Embodied team of child development therapists and experts have designed and set a deliberate pace of activities that help children practice important skills and encourage them to engage with family and friends
Personalization of the interaction with Moxie helps increase learning gains, and parents can track their child’s progress through the companion parent app
Meaningful play, every day
Children engage in creative play with Moxie - drawing, story-telling, mindfulness practice, and more - that helps promote important life skills such as conversation, turn-taking, emotion regulation, and how to make friends
Price: 1.499$+1632$ per year subscription
Developed in partnership with experts in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and based on a multidisciplinary developmental behavioral approach leveraging speech language pathology, occupational therapy, applied behavioral analysis (ABA) principles. The social-emotional curriculum is a manualized practice that maintains a high level of fidelity. With the facial-expressive robots, the program deploys 13 evidence-based practices, a key reason why it is endorsed by the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE).
The curriculum is broken down into 5 module groups. Each module group focuses on a core set of social skills. As students progress through lessons and extension activities, they build upon previous learnings, reinforce target behaviors, and master social skills.
Objective: Meet Milo & Assessment
In this module, students meet the robot and play 6 games to determine prerequisite skills for curriculum.
Objective: Emotional Regulation
Here, student explore basic calm down tools before practicing & applying to social situations. This is one of our most popular modules and can be activated at any time by an educator during moments of emotional dysregulation.
Understanding Conversational Dynamics
Over the course of several sub-modules, students learn common social skills students need know when having conversations including greetings, conversational dynamics, and leave-taking.
One of the most challenging things students with Autism face is understanding how they are feeling and, more importantly, how to communicate those feelings. Here, students learn about feelings & emotions, before mastering the communication of those emotions.
Understanding Social Situations
Mastering emotions and conversational dynamics are the basis for generalizing social skills to human-to-human interaction. Common social scenarios are played out while the student learns nuances of playdates & birthday parties and reinforces all of the skills they have learned in the program.
QTrobot for home
An engaging social robot playmate that helps children with autism to learn and practice new social, emotional, and cognitive skills. Due to the pandemic, parents of children with special needs are taking on more of the responsibility for their child's education than ever before. After several years of experience in offering QTrobot to schools and research institutes, LuxAI now aims to support parents by offering their robot to families. QTrobot is designed with children in mind, it smiles engagingly, speaks softly, and creates an accessible and effective play-based setup for special needs education at home.
QTrobot engages children with meaningful play-based activities based on evidence-based practices such as Applied Behavior Analysis. The expressive robot comes with an endless array of learning programs covering a broad range of skills related to social and emotional wellbeing, and language and cognitive development. Scientific and empirical studies show QTrobot is truly bringing added value to special needs education by improving attention and motivation and reducing anxiety and distraction.
QTrobot package for home includes:
- Online support portal with video lessons for parents to effectively assist their child's education through activities both with and without QTrobot. It also includes manuals with extra-curricular activities to help generalize the learnt skills.
- Analytics dashboard to help parents in monitoring their child's progress on educational milestones, navigate the educational curriculums and create an individualized learning plan aligned with their child's educational needs.
- Monthly support meetings to help parents assess their child's progress and set upcoming goals.
Price: 2.400$ + 1980$ per year subscription
EMO is an assisted social robot for children with autism and other special needs. It has a friendly design that inspires confidence. Decrease anxiety. It is a predictable and tireless new friend. It does not criticize. And it encourages the confidence and autonomy of children.
Encourages Attention and Motivation.
EMO’s looks and behavior create a powerful bond based on trust. Thanks to this bond, the child’s attention and motivation are increased when carrying out activities with it.
20 minutes a day to improve the skills.
The assisted activities carried out with EMO help children improve their skills and school performance. EMO also allows them to know yourself and others better.
The activities are divided into the following blocks:
- Socio-emotional. It includes activities for learning useful strategies for daily life as well as the recognition and regulation of emotions.
- Reading-writing. This block facilitates language development and increased attention.
- Logical mathematical. Includes activities for learning mathematical concepts and solving problems.
EMO becomes a trusted friend who never criticizes or fails them. They feel comfortable and safe to explore and get out of their comfort zone.
It includes a set of more than 100 activities and 465 cards to do them that help the social-emotional and cognitive development of children with Autism and other Special Needs.
All of them are great robots that have shown success in helping children with autism. Not all are for all children. Each one has particularities than can fit better child's needs. Most of them offer a trial period, so risks are zero and the benefits could change your life.