ROBAUTO is a company founded on the idea of providing cost-affordable robotic kits for people with autism. The company is focused on creating technology specifically for autistic individuals to support their unique needs. Robots can be used to help make a social connection between autistic individuals and those who provide support for them. In early pilots, people who had previously expressed little desire to communicate were able to freely interact with the robots. The current project ROBAUTO is working on is a Kickstarter to raise funds for their newest robotic endeavor called ONE.
ONE is designed by individuals with autism, their family members, and support staff to address the specific needs of the autism community. Its creation was rooted in creating a low-cost robotic companion for those on the spectrum. It was designed to help explore how individuals interact and how others can better support those specific social needs. ONE is able to collect data on social interactions and this data will be used to improve ONE as well as future robotic creations.
There are several characteristics ONE has that individuals mentioned as important when designing this new robot. ONE has a speech element and it repeats what the user says. The speech element is perfect for people who have echolalia or who want to practice speech in a safe and judgement free way. There is also a social skill component to ONE which can be customized for every individual. This customization option allows people to embrace their creativity and view the robot as a friendly part of their lives.
Robots have been used in various situations with positive results. People on the spectrum tend to have a special interest in robots and enjoy interacting with them. As a relaxing activity, interacting with a robot can help increase focus time since the individual is engaged and enjoying themselves.
The anticipated release and shipping date is in summer of 2014.
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