Which costume do you think Romibo should choose? Each one
says: “Happy Halloween!”
Fine Art Miracles, Inc. and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh just completed a robotic immersion literacy program for young children, ages 5 and under. We call it: Reading With Romibo! Eight libraries hosted the classes and the results were off the charts successful again. Children listened, answered questions and got to know Romibo. That Romibo can do and teach ANYTHING!
Art+ Social Robot Therapy
“Community facilitated art therapy classes combined with social robot therapy designed specifically for children on the autism spectrum to engage, inspire and enjoy!”
The Project: Romibo
While the robot, after 8 weeks, is clearly not a solution for all children (some kids were not as interested), but for others it can make a tremendous difference. with behavior modeling, teaching reciprocity, theory of mind, conflict resolution, creative play, peer play, motivating physical activity, promoting manners and modulation.
We filmed the robots at a local preschool with both neurotypical children as well as with children with special needs. The filming was all group activities with the robot along with a few interviews with children and teachers.
It was amazing. I cannot wait for this video to come out. The footage is just incredible. So illustrative. The preschool had only been using the robot for a week or so, but huge influence and behavior change was already evident. One teacher remarked that children with autism speak more when the robot is around, which makes their peers in turn speak more to them. Stimulating peer play is extremely valuable in building social skills. They were so excited to be in the video and to endorse the robot.
Romibo is a fantastic tool for capturing the attention of all aged children and motivating them to engage with the teacher or caregiver. A caregiver is able to puppet the robot with an iPad as an supporting social agent during learning and play. The iPad is able to control Romibo’s speech, mobility, gesture, and expression. By using the robot, teachers are able to model social behavior and bring out nurturing behavior in children. The children are eager to impress, educate and protect the robot. They are not possessive as with other pieces of technology. Some children, particularly those with social, behavioral and emotional disabilities, may be unkind to the robot to get attention or for entertainment. The teacher is able to use Romibo’s speech and movement to model discomfort, disapproval and sadness from the point of view of robot. The teacher then explains why the robot is upset and helps the child understand Romibo’s feelings and allows the child to apologize. This understanding of theory of mind and ability to influence a change in the child’s behavior is very difficult to attain. Social stories like this are often modeled in storybooks, or more recently, with screen-based characters and avatars. The embodiment of the robot bridges the gap, allowing the children to bring their learned behavior into reality.
Romibo’s ability to model behavior makes a perfect tool for engaging, motivating and educating individuals of all ages and abilities. Romibo can help teach language skills, even speaking spanish, motivate exercise with “Simon Says,” capture attention with “I Spy,” motivate creativity with “Tell me a story”, and many other social games.