How a robot is helping kids with autism - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

How a robot is helping kids with autism

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Meet Milo the robot. He's got moves and skills.

"I can nod yes, I can shake my head no," the robot said.

But he's not a toy. Milo is a new tool teaching children with autism how to work through social situations in the classroom.

"The goal is they learn these social skills and are then able to interact with other people," Richard Margolin said.

Margolin and his company, RoboKind, spent three years developing Milo. He can smile or frown while interacting with students and help them with calm-down tactics like counting to 10.

Margolin says Milo's consistent speech patterns and behavior repetitions are key for children with autism.

"When you bring technology into it... it's something they can engage with. It's something that's less overwhelming to them," Margolin said.

Keenan is a first-grader at KIPP Truth Academy in Dallas. His teachers say working with Milo has helped Keenan in times of stress, like when he answers a question wrong.

"He's using his words, he's able to isolate what he's feeling or thinking," said Katie Hill, the principal at KIPP Truth Academy.

Right now, Milo is being used in 285 schools nationwide. The creators hope to expand to 2,000 schools by the end of the year. Lessons learned here with Milo they can put to good use with their friends and family in real life.

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