updated 07:37 pm EDT, Tue May 14, 2013
Latest implementation the first NAO robot implementation for sale
Humanoid robotics provider Aldebaran Robotics has announced the launch of the ASK NAO (Autism Solution for Kids) initiative for use in special education and specifically, for children with autism. The launch is part of an effort to revolutionize special needs education through NAO, the Company's interactive humanoid robot who has been readily embraced by children with autism and uses games to stimulate their social skills and help them achieve greater independence.
NAO acts as a companion to children with special needs to help bridge the gap between the world of technology and social interactions with people. Through this initiative, Aldebaran is helping educators more effectively achieve learning goals by making the learning more enjoyable and attractive to children who may be difficult to motivate.
"We have developed educational games that allow children to work on verbal and non-verbal communication, emotional intelligence, mimicking, and even basic academic skills. NAO locks these skills in children and also builds their confidence," said Dr. Olivier Joubert, business unit manager at Aldebaran. "we have been driven to launch this initiative to help children with autism throughout the world realize their full potential."
The aim of ASK NAO's applications is to help children develop social and learning skills through encouragement and rewards, making it possible to positively stimulate them, give them confidence and help them move toward greater independence. The ASK NAO Initiative is supported by educators who specialize in autism, as well as by parents who see NAO as a technological breakthrough that meets the demands of personalized educational support.
Autism affects one in every 88 children and one in every 54 boys. Autism is diagnosed not by a single symptom, but by a characteristic series of symptoms: impairments in social interaction; impairments in verbal or non-verbal communication; limited interests and stereotyped behavior. Children with autism are often attracted to technology because of its predictability and reduced external stimuli to process, which makes the robot a natural educational tool, implemented properly.
The robot is available for purchase by schools and institutions now. Pricing has not been disclosed, but is dependent on software packages needed and development required.