Press Releases

NAO set to assist autistic students in reaching their full potential

Camberley, UK, 27th November 2017, Emotion Robotics Limited has released a new solution to assist teachers in using the SoftBank Robotics’ NAO robot to teach children on the autism spectrum. Assist for Autism and Special Needs provides teachers with a simple to use control interface, and associated robot activities, for the NAO robot platform. 

Having worked with numerous schools who are teaching children on the autism spectrum, and having been part of the original Aldebaran Assist Kids with Robots project, Emotion Robotics have announced the release of the next generation of teaching tools for using NAO with special needs students. Assist for Autism and Special Needs, provides a web browser based teacher’s interface and a range of activities that can be used to engage students and reinforce subject material. Whilst being browser based, the solution does not require access to the internet, providing a complete management and teaching solution via iPads and Tablet. 

All existing robot behaviours, whether from the Assist Kids with Robots solution or independently developed, can be managed, and new teaching activities have been added that allow students to interact with the robot via touch devices such as iPads and Android tablets.  Large touch screen devices, such as wall mounted displays can also be supported, as well as existing laptop and desktop equipment. Turn taking, collaborative play, and empathy development activities are provided as standard. 

For schools and groups with an existing NAO robot, the solution is available as a software only package. Where an organisation wishes to start from a green fields environment, NAO and the solution, with staff training, setup and an ongoing subscription based update and support service is available.

Already in use in a number of environments working with Special Educational Needs students, all users of the solution will have the ability to feedback suggestions for future applications as part of the subscription support service. It is envisaged that a minimum of four new activities will be added to the solution per year. 

About Emotion Robotics:

Emotion Robotics is a specialist social robotics solution developer with a focus on special educational needs and residential care. Assist for Autism and Special Needs is the first SEN focused product to provide support for an open hardware set, including iPads, Android tablets, large screen touch displays, laptops and desktops. With over 5 years’ experience of working with social robots in a SEN environment, and working with a range of special schools and universities, Emotion Robotics can provide the SEN focus to ensure your students get the most from technology.

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About SoftBank Robotics:

The world leader in humanoid robotics, SoftBank Robotics has over 500 employees in offices located in Paris, Tokyo, San Francisco, Boston and Shanghai. More than 20,000 SoftBank Robotics robots, NAO, Pepper and Romeo, are used in over 70 countries in sectors as diverse as retail, tourism, health, research, education and entertainment. 

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Find out more about Assist for Autism and Special Needs