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.           http://youtu.be/6dwrK4y3Vkg

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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