Tag Archives: Paro

Robot Therapy

When TDT visited Georgia Tech, we saw Aldebaran robots used for work with special needs children.  An article in today’s St. Petersburg Times, which originally appeared in the New York Times (A Soft Spot for Circuitry), talks about growing use of “robot therapy” in environments ranging from nursing homes, to substance abuse counseling to diet coaching. 

paroParo is a robotic harp seal that “trills and paddles when petted, blinks when the lights go up, opens its eyes at loud noises and yelps when handled roughly or held upside down. Two microprocessors under its artificial white fur adjust its behavior based on information from dozens of hidden sensors that monitor sound, light, temperature and touch. It perks up at the sound of its name, praise and, over time, the words it hears frequently. ”

The article looks at lots of interesting social, ethical, and technical questions and issues.  Read the whole thing and see some interesting video footage at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/05/science/05robot.html?pagewanted=3&_r=1&ref=amy_harmon

TDT Web Pick: SPARK – Starter Programs for the Advancement of Robotics Knowledge

iRobot has launched a new robotics education portal at http://ow.ly/pxSn . Two sections: Educational Resources and Cool Stuff, both take you to some pretty cool stuff!

The Educational Resources section serves  iRobot’s committment to “supporting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education in schools. By using robots, students have fun, teachers get to teach in new ways, and parents get to learn new things along with their children. This is where educators and parents can find robot-related resources to help build STEM curricula and to foster an appreciation for STEM education.”  There are stories, teaching resources, and activities for students in K-college.

Cool Stuff features games, photo galleries, projects and more.

SPARK purports to be partnering with FIRST, as well as CMU, BeatBots, Topobo and Paro

Looks like a good and growing resource to keep an eye on.