A new generation of social robots used in therapy to assist individuals with disabilities has become increasingly popular in the more recent years. Therapeutic robots are now being used to assist children with autism in learning appropriate social behaviors and understanding expressions and gestures. A company called RoboKind created Milo which is a social robot aimed to help teach social behaviors to individuals with autism through facial expressions and interactions with children.
Robots are now able to understand cues that they understood human emotions and can react to humans by reflecting a responsive emotion. Robots like Milo can facilitate teaching behaviors to children through expressive emotions and feedback. Children with autism often have difficulties with exhibiting appropriate social behaviors, recognizing facial expressions and emotions, and maintaining conversations and eye contact with others. These skills are valuable for individuals with autism to help give them independence in their interactions with others without the direct pressure from a therapist or teacher. Milo can assist children in learning such behaviors through fun lessons aiming through voice and movement interactions to fully teach these behaviors.
Milo is a 2-foot tall robot with spiky dark brown hair in a bright blue spacesuit. He speaks 20% slower than an average human and can repeat the same phrases repetitively as children with autism process information through repetition and careful understanding. Milo has nine touch zones and six sensors to gauge the movement and touch of the children. He also is recording the progress of the child through cameras in his eyes to sense eye contact and such. His exaggerated facial expressions help children learn appropriate emotions and gestures as well.
Milo is an awesome technology that can help children with autism in new ways through interacting with a robot that teaches behaviors through unique lessons involving many multimodal senses! Milo is currently used in conjunction with a curriculum called Robots4Autism created by RoboKind in many schools and therapy sessions throughout the country! Keep your eye out for Milo, this robot is definitely going to continue making big transformations for our future!