DALLAS (Jun 30, 2014) – Robots provide therapeutic benefits to children with autism, including an increase in motivation and engagement in social situations, as shown in studies detailed by Yale University. RoboKind, the world leader in social robotics, offers Robots4Autism, a breakthrough autism therapy curriculum that is research-proven and delivered by the first humanoid robot purpose-built for autism intervention.
Autism experts from the University of Texas at Dallas partnered with RoboKind engineers to build the innovative Robots4Autism program designed to foster academic, social and behavioral development. Compared to traditional therapy, the curriculum, delivered by a robot named Milo, is more approachable for children on the autism spectrum due to their mechanical interests.
“Children with autism who complete the program have been shown to demonstrate richer social skills than before the interaction,” said Dr. Pamela Rollins, MS Ed.D., who was instrumental in developing the Robots4Autism curriculum at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders at the University of Texas at Dallas. These include an observable increase in eye contact, improved body language and friendliness. Some children using the program also showed shorter time to connect with the robot than with human teachers or facilitators.
The curriculum is written as social stories and augmented with video modeling, which teach concepts that can be applied to the real world. Lesson topics include conversations, greeting and emotional regulation, with subtopics such as resolving problems and identifying emotions. Milo relays them through natural, human-like expressions. He never tires, so lessons can be repeated as many times as needed.
“Our goal was to design an affordable robot and curriculum pairing that teaches children practical social skills at an early age,” said Claude Bove, RoboKind Director of School Sales and Marketing. “Early intervention has been shown to reduce the lifetime costs of autism by two-thirds.”
RoboKind is committed to making this curriculum and technology widely available.
Through the Matching Partnership Grant Program, school and therapy center participants who purchase the curriculum will receive a social robot at no cost, a savings of several thousand dollars.
RoboKind, the world leader in social robotics, designs and builds a series of robots that enable people to engage with robots on a personal level. Through the Robots4Autism and RoboSteps programs, RoboKind leverages these advanced social robots to supplement autism therapy, special education and STEM instruction. The programs use humanoid robots that feature life-like facial expressions, natural social interaction and comprehensive curriculum to assist educators and therapists in helping students learn and grow. For more information, visit www.robokindrobots.com.