Mozo is a learning robot specially designed for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that have Social Deficits and Communication Difficulties symptoms.
It is an affordable robot-assisted therapy tool that can be used by autism therapists, educators and parents. It is controlled through a simple user-friendly mobile application. The mobile application teaches social and communication interactions and provides users with teaching skills that are of effective for children with ASD.
According to International Statistical Institute, a child is born with autism every twenty minutes. In 2014, the National Bureau of Statistics declared that two percent of UAE newborns are diagnosed with autism.
One of the major difficulties autistic children face is social deficits. They may avoid eye contact, social interactions and resist or passively accept attention especially when frustrated or presented with a new situation or environment. They also suffer from communication difficulties. Some children may have good basic language skills, but have difficulty initiating or sustaining conversations. Some may use language in unusual ways, such as repeating a phrase, or parroting what they hear (also named as Echolalia).
Moza a soft fluffy teddy bear one-metre height. The teddy bear shape and bright color of the robot are to attract children’s attention. This attractive shape is highly effective in breaking barriers as a motivation for autistic children who have difficulty, shyness or discomfort interacting or practicing social skills with strange people. The size is so that it can be easily hugged by children. Through the mobile application, the user can make the robot hug the child or react to a child’s hug, as the robot has joints in its arms.
Under observation from a group of autism experts from the Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs (ZHO), Mozo’s features were designed and implemented to have a positive impact on autistic children. The application can be customised to provide therapy lessons and create profiles for every child with their own tailored therapy plan.