The Milo Robot surfaced as a teaching tool specifically targeted towards young students with autism. The robot speaks slightly slower than a normal adult since many individuals on the spectrum might struggle with communication and require more time to understand what another person is saying.
A special education teacher from Kershaw County, SC spoke to Wach Fox 57. “They have a hard time reading people’s facial expressions and this really teaches them things like that. Milo talks at a rate that’s about 85 percent of normal. So it’s a little slower because a lot of students with autism have processing disorders”.
Carrie Watson, a mother of two young boys, Colby and Jacob who both live with autism, admits communicating with her two children has been difficult. With the help of Milo, Watson said “I’ve noticed in the past couple of weeks, especially since they brought Milo in here, he has been talking to me more, he has been telling me his needs and wants more. Colby is the same thing”. The robot, as explained in a Kvue article, has a variety of programs and is able to help educationally but also socially. Milo is designed specifically for individuals with ASD. He is capable of walking, talking and modeling human facial expressions.
Milo is one of the Robots4Autism available to young learners ages 5-17. Milo teaches lessons verbally while students have access to a tablet. The tablet allows the students to watch short video clips upon Milo’s direction. Students watch clips involving individuals demonstrating skills and behaviors that are both correct and incorrect. Learners are then asked “yes” or “no” questions based on the video clip they watched to decide whether the behavior or skill was demonstrated correctly or not. Schools are finding Milo to be extremely helpful in the classroom as he is able to reach a large audience, larger than the one a teacher could reach on their own.
Milo is also relatively cheaper than similar robots, costing $5,000. Each robot comes equipped with a curriculum provided by experts in autism. So far, 290 schools across the United States have welcomed Milo into their classrooms.
Robots4Autism recommends students to use Milo while under the supervision of an educator, therapist or other adult, for 30 to 60 minutes at least three times a week.