Social robots are proving to be useful technologies to help people with autism better integrate in society. We recently saw it with Buddy, which partnered with Auticiel on a special project for children with special needs, and we’ll see more of it at CES 2016.
A new motion-sensitive social robot called Leka provides sensory stimulation through movement, lights, vibration and sound. The company says the interactive robot is designed to help children with autism spectrum disorder, Down’s syndrome, or multiple disabilities.
Leka will come with a variety of single and multiplayer games to help develop motor and intellectual skills. At the moment, the games include hide and seek, color-based bingo and ‘touch-blink-spin’.
“As a robot, Leka is both predictable and stable in its interactions, which is very important for the child’s sense of safety and serenity,” says Ladislas de Toldi, Leka chief executive and founder. “Leka caters to the specific needs of the kids and focuses on multi-sensory stimulation. Its colors, sounds, vibrations help improve sensory processing and reduces anxiety.”
As the company says on its website, Leka doesn’t replace therapy, it is a tool for parents and caregivers to teach through play and make therapy easier, more efficient & constant by bringing therapy home.
Here are some of the ways to use Leka:
Single & multi-player games – Leka offers fun games specifically designed to address developmental needs, and find ways to better integrate your child & favor family happiness. Among the first available applications : Hide & Go Seek, Touch-Blink-Spin, and Colors Bingo
Autonomy in daily tasks – When it comes to completing daily tasks, Leka has the ability to gamify numerous situation, consequently motivating and guiding the child to success. Among the first available applications : Time Timer, Alarm-Clock, and Night-Light
Encourage interaction to develop social skills – Leka is a fascinating item of interest for children, supporting active interaction with parents & caregivers. Able to speak & show emotions, Leka will work with children to them with imitation & communication skills. Among the first available applications: Emotion recognition, and Repeat after me
Leka has designed a prototype and is raising funds on a French crowdfunding website.