QTrobot, pronounced “cutie robot,” was developed by the Luxembourgian company LuxAI and introduced to early adopters back in 2018. It is a expressive and engaging humanoid robot designed to assist in teaching autistic children essential social skills. One may think: “How can a robot help in the management of a condition characterized by impaired social interaction and limited human communication?”
As it turns out, children with autism, like most other children, love to play with robots. Studies have indicated that robots might be specifically advantageous in helping children with autism for several reasons. A robot is perceived as less intimidating than a human figure. Thus, children with autism are less anxious when dealing with robots than with humans. A robot is able to deliver the same predictable response, time and time again, without getting frustrated or tired. This repetition and consistency are critical to the way children with autism learn. Furthermore, this innovative approach (utilizing robots to teach children with autism) could be the answer for some of the barriers that face traditional therapy, such as high cost or limited availability. Now that we have established some reasons as to why a robot would prove useful in teaching children with autism, let’s go back to QTrobot.
QTrobot looks just as adorable as the name implies. It has two mobile arms and a big head with a large LCD screen that acts as the robot’s face. QTrobot can see, hear, and speak thanks to a RealSense 3D camera, a sensitive microphone, and powerful speakers. QTrobot is able to convey a wide range of emotions with clear visual cues, which makes it easier for someone with autism to recognize. This cute-faced robot stands around two feet tall and weighs about 5 kg.
Over the last decade, a few other companies, such as RoboKind, have introduced robots with similar functions. However, the people behind QTrobot suggest that it is unique because of how easily it can be programmed. Through a user-friendly app, therapists, regardless of their IT backgrounds, could effortlessly control the robot to conduct sessions. Moreover, a therapist can tailor the contents of each session to meet the educational needs of every child on the spectrum and make autism education more personalized.
QTrobot is currently available in the U. S. on a limited baseis for early adopters. The company is planning to expand its reach and make it available for other interested autism centers and schools by the end of the second quarter of 2019.
Here’s a video from LuxAI presenting the QTrobot:
Product page: QTrobot…