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In the U.S., robots are increasingly taking over the responsibility of maneuvering the classrooms.

Robots and Autism

During early October, teachers in South Carolina began their robotic journey by using Robts4Autism curriculum. A robot codenamed “Milo” was designed to help young students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Malachi, a school toddler, excitedly says, “My friend Milo is a million percent cool.”

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Children are seen to be increasingly diagnosed with autism with 1 in 68 children being diagnosed with the disorder in the USA alone. To benefit society, RoboKind, A company based out of Texas, created Milo as part of their ongoing efforts to teach autistic students in their middle or elementary schools.

Milo assists students by helping them to understand the expressions and emotions of others.

Serena Haire, a parent, says, “With our kids being into so much electronics, Milo can be a great asset that is more patient compared to our patience levels as parents.”

The robot successfully demonstrates appropriate responses and enacts social behaviors to help youngsters by moving its arms, walking and syncing other facial emotions in tandem with students, thus accurately emulating emotions.

The teachers believe students can learn how to correctly tune in to their emotions while expressing empathy and correct social behaviors by interacting with the award-winning humanoid.

Haire explains, “Milo is one of the greatest assets for our kids with special needs. The robot helps them by giving an opportunity to enact various communication skills which would otherwise not have been possible.”

The students are expected to interact with a facilitator and Milo for an hour per week up to the time the child completes three years of his/her education. The facilitator can meet only one student per session. The facilitator then uses an iPad to choose a lesson from more than hundreds of lessons that are designed to incorporate visual, kinesthetic and visual training.

Allison, a facilitator, says, “I sit right behind the students equipped with my iPad. Milo starts with asking helpful questions like ‘what is your name?'”

Allison further explains, “If the child correctly answers the question, then I can select the right option on my tablet to help Milo correctly respond. However, in case the student does not answer correctly, Milo will assist them by helping them answer in the right way.”

Further, the humanoid collects the data from each and every lesson and provides the obtained information to be reviewed by parents and facilitators alike.

Haire says, “My little son loves electronic gadgets like iPads and Milo is something like an iPad with the touch of a human. At times my child interacts with Milo better than he does back home or with his therapist. ”

Teachers and parents agree Milo is offering a unique form of therapy not seen in the past. The robot never gets tired or frustrated and the question of losing patience doesn’t come up; this is what separates Milo from humans.

“These robots have an amazing accuracy that is more than three times accurate than a normal individual. In other words, they reach 100 percent accuracy each and every time before we get to move on to the next lesson,” an excited Allison says.

Administrators conclude by saying their primary goal is to help their autistic students learn the basic skills and integrate into their classroom without any hassles.

Summary
Can Robots Help Autistic Children Better Their Academic Performance?
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Can Robots Help Autistic Children Better Their Academic Performance?
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An interesting read that highlights how robots are set to redefine the future
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AutisMag
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