The Bristol Press – MOVIA Robotics in Bristol builds revolutionary educational tools for autistic students
BRISTOL – Robot teachers may look like something out of a sci-fi movie, but according to Bristol-based company MOVIA Robotics, they are a revolutionary educational tool for students with autism.
MOVIA Robotics is a robotics company that builds systems and software to help children with autism learn using robotic technology. They are used in classrooms and at home, to teach children of academics as well as life skills. They give individualized lessons adapted to the needs of the child.
MOVIA Robotics CEO Jean-Pierre Bolat said robots help children with autism to continue learning and exceed their educational goals.
“With the use of robots, we can unlock certain doors for these children,” Bolat said.
Bolat said everything the company does is research-driven, and research has proven robots to be an effective way of teaching children with autism. Robot-assisted instruction can lead to increased confidence, reduced anxiety, increased engagement, and better preparation for learning. It can help children with autism achieve both educational and therapeutic goals.
“They don’t find it threatening; there is no judgment, they are nice, there are no facial expressions or tone that they cannot understand, ”Bolat said.
According to Bolat, there have also been studies that show that having a three-dimensional entity in a child’s own space to teach them a lesson is more engaging and effective than showing a child a video on a screen. It activates the brain in the same way as when a person teaches them. Robots are also useful for capturing a child’s attention, as they usually don’t see robots.
MOVIA Robotics was founded in 2010 by Timothy Gifford, scientist, researcher and entrepreneur. He came up with the idea to focus on helping children with the autism spectrum while working at the University of Connecticut. He wanted to help his wife, an elementary school teacher in West Hartford, teach her autistic students more effectively.
The company has grown since then. Their robots are used around the world in colleges, classrooms, therapists’ offices, and homes. The company even has a contract to supply robots to the US Department of Defense school system to help military children with autism.
The MOVIA Robotics website features many success stories when their robots helped children with autism become more motivated and confident. In one case, a parent used the robot to supplement their son Jaxson’s virtual learning during the pandemic. Jaxson was more interested in robot lessons than virtual learning, and he was able to practice his social skills with the robot. After using the robot for a while, Jaxson said “I love you, mom” for the first time. His dad thinks that socializing with the robot helped him do that.
To learn more about MOVIA Robotics, visit moviarobotics.com or call 860-56-4797.