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Robots to help train autism students
By Imran Mojib March 01, 2018
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DUBAI: Robotic teaching assistants are being deployed in autism centres in the UAE to help children learn faster and better. The first such robot, provided by ATLAB, a technology-based learning solutions company, is in use at the Umm Al Quwain Autism Centre.

The deployment of the ATLAB Teach Assist at the Umm Al Quwain Autism Centre was an initiative of the UAE Ministry of Community Development.

The robot has been helping teachers and interacting with autistic kids at the centre. “Robotic teaching assistants are changing the way the kids are taught. It enables children to be more interactive when compared to a human teacher. It is even more true with an autistic child,” explained Nilesh Korgaonkar, General Manager, ATLAB.

ATLAB Teach Assist was initially unveiled during Global Education Supplies and Solutions (GESS) Dubai 2017. The first such robot was deployed in a school in Sharjah last year.

“The first edition of the Teach Assist robots were deployed in some schools as a pilot project. The results were really encouraging. The schools as well as the students loved it a lot,” said Korgaonkar.

The second edition of the software is now fully ready to be rolled out into schools and has been upgraded with the latest, advanced software upgrades.

“The Teach Assist now allows teachers to customise their lesson plans. Additional sensors allow it to distinguish humans in a more intelligent manner, and the face recognition software has received a significant boost compared to the previous version,” said Korgaonkar.

Additionally, the latest software upgrade also enables the ATLAB Teach Assist to educate school kids about coding.

ATLAB in co-ordination with LEGO Education has been developing STEM Academies in the UAE and integrating it with the curriculum to enable more hands-on learning. The recent 3D printing Olympiad in the UAE saw participants showcase innovative self-designed models including a functional 3D printed humanoid robot.

“At ATLAB our aim is to promote innovation among students. It is important to train our kids to be more creative and innovative and the STEM Academies precisely aim to do this,” said Sanjay Raghunath, Chairman and Managing Director of Centena Group, that owns ATLAB.

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