Tess Lojacono, CEO
FAMbot Remote: Socially Assistive Robotic Learning for All
HundrED shortlisted this innovation
Why did you create this innovation?
FAM & PEERbots saw a need for social robotics to be accessible to everyone, no matter what the global condition. The current health crisis was one inspiring factor; inequities in populations and geography was another. We want all children, no matter their challenges, locations, or economic status to have the same access to improved, inspired learning!
How does your innovation work in practice?
An app is downloaded on any device: android or iOS, phone, tablet, laptop, iPad, etc. A robot body can be purchased (in many forms) or made (from materials at hand) so long as it holds the device being used. The student chooses the "face" setting on the app, places it in the robot body and suddenly has a robot with a face and a voice.
The teacher, therapist or field expert (connected with the student on zoom or another similar platform) has the same app loaded onto a device. That expert chooses the "controller" setting. The two can be anywhere in the world as the expert connects his/her device with the student's device and with a simple click, he/she is able to make the student's robot speak, ask questions, introduce new material, move about, blink and respond to the student.
Now the student learns with and from a peer robot. Studies have shown reduced inhibition, increased attention span and improved communication skills when children of all capabilities work with a robot.
How has it been spreading?
This development is brand new. Similar remote robotic sessions (zoom sessions with FAM's Hugo robot for children on the autism spectrum) have noted a high participation in session content, increased socialization with classmates, lengthened attention spans and improvements in mood throughout Robotic Zoom sessions and afterwards. These Hugo's World Zooms have been offered from June 2020 through December, 2020 with great success. A new series of Hugo's World Zooms is currently being designed. The Hugo Zoom was inspired by Social Robot Enhanced Learning Sessions that FAM has implemented since 2013, serving and seeing improvements in learning for hundreds of children to date.
If I want to try it, what should I do?
If you would like to try FAM and PEERbots' Remote Social Robotics contact FAM through the website: https://fineartmiracles.com or contact me: Tess@fineartmiracles.com