Robota: A robot to assist special kids to speak about their troubles

The progress in the field of robotics has been quite evident in the past few years. Many new applications of robotics in diverse domains have been established. The medical sector has also witnessed few of the major breakthroughs such as robotic hands that can assist surgeons or the one that gives the disabled a new hope of handling things normally again. And the upcoming application of robotics has been its use in making assistive and companion robots for kids.

We know, by judging an individual by his/her issues can discourage them from speaking to others and especially, kids can be very sensitive in such cases. A team of students at the Rutgers College, New York, has developed a robot, dubbed “Robota.” This robot can interact with children who need special attention owing to stress-associated problems.

Robota uses sentiment analysis and computer vision to detect students in a class who seem to be stressed. Then, Robota moves toward and ask the kid if anything is wrong. On disclosing anything by the student, the robot transfers their vocal grievances into text, then evaluates sentences to comprehend if any problems expressed need the instantaneous consideration from an adult. It will also text teachers or parents of the student with an outline of their complaints.

The makers of the robot, Aditya Shastri, Rithika Korrapolu, and Abdullah Shareef, said that the study proposes that children with special requirements frequently experience challenges conversing with teachers and other in the school. At times, they can be particularly susceptible to judgment or concerned about disappointing authority figures.

The development of Robota was with the conception that robots are nonjudgmental entities, and children may be more enthusiastic to interact with them, and also may be more comfortable doing so. The group utilized the TurtleBot and software from Clarif.ai, IBM, and Autonomous to build their prototype.

Previous to Robota, there are several such inventions that include Paro, a robotic seal developed to assist individuals with dementia; ElliQ by Intuition Robotics, a companion robot designed to assist the geriatric population to maintain their social connections and mental health as they age; and NAO, a humanoid robot to aid children with autism.

Do you know more such robotic inventions?

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