Meet Romibo: Making & Social Robot Enhanced Learning

Fourth 2015 3

Romibo is a social therapy robot developed by Carnegie Mellon University and utilized by Fine Art Miracles (FAM) – a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organization offering art and music therapy and social robot enhanced learning. Using emerging technology, Romibo can move, speak and ask questions, and even track the eye movements of whomever is engaging with him. Finding that challenged and neuro-typical children have an easier time focusing for long periods of time when engaged with a robot, he has proven to be a valuable aid in the classroom, especially for children on the autism spectrum who have difficulty feeling comfortable interacting with people. Great improvements in social behavior have been attributed to interactions with this furry and friendly robot.

Tess Lojacono, founder and director of FAM, brought her expertise in art, business management and experience working with various special needs groups together to form the organization which initially served elderly residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. In 2013 FAM expanded its target base to include children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including individuals on the autism spectrum, residents of homeless shelters and anyone experiencing difficulty with the challenges of daily living.

At Buffalo Mini Maker Faire, visitors will get the chance to meet this groundbreaking robot and are invited to make their own non-mobile Box Bot to take home using hot glue guns, spray paint, boxes, buttons, caps, metal pieces and other upcycled junk!

To learn more about Fine Art Miracles and Romibo, click here.

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