New technology: A Robot for Children with Autism

Click on the link below to see the robot at work.  He is doing a Tai Chi routine, which I started to do with him…thus the poor camera work for a few seconds.  Bear with me, it’s worth it. 

Nao, as the robot is called, is currently being piloted at an elementary school in Haverhill, MA. He can play games, ask questions and interact with children in a much more predictable way than the typical preschooler and is a bit hit with many of the children with autism.

The robot.  At the CEC convention in April in Philadelphia I was checking out the vendors.  One of interest to me was this beautiful, little robot.  Most people just watched for a while and moved on, but I was interested in what this little guy could do.  The gentlemen with whom I spoke was the inventor of the robot.  He told me that he had brought the robot to an event and all of sudden, he heard a woman crying.  Her son, a little boy with a diagnosis of autism was interacting with the robot.  This was the first thing that had ever  maintained her child’s attention.  Since then the robot is being piloting in a integrated preschools  around the country.  Recently the Boston Globe ran a short article on the robot and its possibility for helping children with special needs.  With a  price tag of about $10,000, it might be worth it.

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