Robots can reduce some of the pressure associated with social play for children with autism. In an exercise session with a robot, the child plays and performs exercises with the robot over an extended period.
There’s usually a social aspect to this play. A therapist or other adult is often present to engage in exercises and games along with the child. Exercises and games can even be used in a small group school setting with peers.
But children with autism still need an outlet for their imaginations, energy, and growing minds. Using the Kebbi robot takes some of the burdens away from the adults in the child’s life, serving a peer-like role to encourage exercise and play. Children with autism may feel more comfortable exercising and playing with a robot since the robot’s algorithm is more predictable and less erratic than the behavior of other children.
Kids are bursting with energy. Even with neurotypical children who play with their peers all day long, many parents can’t keep up. For children with autism who shy away from the social play with their peers, this can create a complicated situation. The child may have pent-up energy and the parents feel a heavy burden to make sure all their child’s exercise and play needs are met – all without overwhelming their child.
Robot-guided physical exercises let kids move their bodies in ways that may be difficult for them to do when other children are around – allowing children with autism to work on improving motor skills. Physical learning with robot-assisted instruction can reduce anxiety, which is often a significant barrier for children receiving physical therapy treatment, especially for those with autism.