Therapeutic play with a
storytelling robot

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Project description:

    We are working in close collaboration with AnthroTronix to develop a prototype storytelling robot for use with children in rehabilitation. Children can remotely control a large furry robot by using a variety of body sensors adapted to their disability or rehabilitation goal. In doing so, they can teach the robot to act out emotions (e.g. sad, happy, excited) and then write stories using the storytelling software and include those emotions in the story. The story can then be "played" by the remote controlled robot, which acts out the story and the emotions. We believe that this robot can motivate the children and help them reach their therapy goals through therapeutic play, either by exercising muscles or joints (e.g. for physically challenges children) or by reflecting on the expression of emotions (e.g. for autistic children). We use an innovative design methodology involving children as design partners.

Related projects:

Participants:

Allison Druin, Assistant Professor, College of Education and HCIL
Catherine Plaisant, Associate Research Scientist, HCIL
Corinna Lathan, President, AnthroTronix
Jack Maxwell Vice, AnthroTronix
Jaime Montemayor, Graduate Student, Computer Science
Kris Edwards, Undergraduate Research Assistant (Mechanical Engineering)
and the children who participate in the design.

Past members:
Kapil Dakhane, Graduate Research Assistant

Publications and reports:

Sponsors and Partners:

    This project is supported in part by the Maryland Industrial Partnership Program (MIPS), AnthroTronix Inc. and ToyTech Corp.

Other photos

Some photos (BIG files) All photos (C) University of Maryland 2000,2001