Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

Interbot’s Robot Takes Top Honors at the First RoboBowl

October 19th, 2011 / in research horizons, Research News / by Erwin Gianchandani

Robotics Technology Consortium [image courtesy].Innovation Accelerator [image courtesy].Interbots’ consumer robot for autism therapy took the top prize last Thursday at the nation’s first-ever next-generation robotics venture competition. The event, called RoboBowl Pittsburgh (it was held at Carnegie Mellon University), was co-sponsored by the Robotics Technology Consortium and Innovation Accelerator, and sought “to find and foster startup and early-stage companies seeking to develop products and services that address unmet and underserved market needs” in the healthcare sector.

Interbots — selected out of five finalists by a panel of judges that included leading roboticists and healthcare professionals from around the country — will receive $20,000 for its top finish.

According to the official entry description, Interbots has leveraged recent research findings to create an affordable consumer robot that guides children through activities designed to help treat autism:

The CDC currently estimates that 1% of children in the United States will be diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Children with ASD often struggle with critical social referencing skills such as focusing on faces, recognizing emotions, and responding to directions. Recent research has shown that children with ASD have an easier time interacting with robots than people. Interbots has leveraged these findings to create an affordable consumer robot and accompanying iPad/PC software that allows therapists and parents to guide children (ages 3-15) through activities that practice social referencing skills. Our goal is to become the leader in Autism robotics, providing parents and therapists with software, robotic tools, and curricula to support the social, emotional, and cognitive development of children with ASD.

Learn more about the other finalists here — and visit the RoboBowl website for complete details.

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)

Interbot’s Robot Takes Top Honors at the First RoboBowl

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