Milo the facially expressive humanoid robot and his accompanying social-emotional curriculum are being used in 290 districts and throughout the state of South Carolina
RoboKind, the world leader in social robotics and the creator of Milo and robots4autism, is proud to be the provider of advanced social-emotional curriculum to 290 school districts in 27 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces. Since the company launched in 2011, Milo the humanoid robot has delivered more than 250,000 lessons to children with autism spectrum Disorder (ASD), and currently works with thousands of children daily.
“It’s our personal mission to ensure that every student with ASD has the opportunity to reach their highest potential,” said Greg Firn, the Chief Operating Officer of RoboKind. “These kids have so much potential to contribute to our world, and we owe it to them, and to ourselves, to help them develop the social skills they need to be successful in life.”
South Carolina legislators believed in the robots4autism program so much that they approved a statewide initiative to bring Milo and his lessons to students with ASD in 15 districts throughout the state, serving more than 8,000 students. In the Spartanburg school district, this initiative also resulted in a decrease in cost for the district, because of the improvements in their students with ASD. Students who had been headed for special residential care programs improved enough to be able to stay in public school, and one student was even able to reenter regular education classes. Some students also did not need to attend summer education programs, and the overall number of meltdowns and tantrums decreased dramatically, saving more time for instruction.
robots4autism uses Milo the facially expressive social robot, coupled with a comprehensive curriculum, to teach social behaviors and emotional identification to students with ASD. Milo walks, turns his head, moves his arms, and models human facial expressions. Milo delivers lessons verbally, as well as displaying symbols on his chest screen that provide visual reinforcement to help ASD learners better understand what he is saying. Students also watch real-life situational videos on a tablet, and answer questions from Milo about the behaviors they see in the video. Lessons include teaching students to calm themselves down when they get overstimulated, how to appropriately greet others, and how to take turns when conversing with another person.
Since many ASD learners prefer objects to people, Milo offers a non-threatening way for them to practice their communication skills. Milo never gets tired or frustrated, but continues to deliver lessons in a way the student can understand. Through the robots4autism curriculum, ASD students learn to tune in on emotions, express empathy, act appropriately in social situations, self-motivate, and reciprocate interactions. Milo and his curriculum have been shown to increase vocabulary and verbalization in students with ASD, as well as enable them to make friends among peers, and decrease the frequency of meltdowns.
“Milo was a life-changer for us,” said the mother of a child with ASD who worked with Milo in Georgia. “With Milo, (my daughter) would watch, listen for his question, think about it, and respond. She never did that in a normal conversation before.”
At the TCEA conference on February 7th and 8th, Milo will be meeting educators and the media at the PR with Panache! Storytelling Suite. To make an appointment, please contact Susan Hanson.