Members of the House of Education Committee in Salt Lake, Utah sign off on a bill, Assistive Teaching Technology Amendments (HB418) that will set aside $200,000 to reimburse school districts and charter schools for half the cost of a robot designed to help children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Mark Child, Executive Director of Marketing, and Dan Nelson, Vice President of Sales, from RoboKind joined the bill’s sponsor Rep. Brad Last to present Milo, an advanced social robot that fits into the bill’s overall goal.
Child and Nelson presented RoboKind’s Robots4Autism and its success with helping ASD learners develop socially and emotionally.
“They do not engage with people,” Nelson told the committee. “They do engage with Milo, in fact, many of these kids view Milo as their friend.”
Robots4Autims is helping children grow comfortable in their own skin and Milo gives them the tools and confidence they need to explore the world around them.
“I don’t personally believe its proven and even the information that we’ve had here is anecdotal,” Last told committee members. “But I think there’s enough promise that it makes sense for us to provide a little bit of an incentive.”
HB418 will cover half the cost for Milo, who’s priced at $5,000. But, that price tag hasn’t scared anyone off. If anything Robots4Autism and Milo has generated much interest, especially with Utah’s Spectrum Academy, a charter school that focuses on treating people with autism.
This is big news for RoboKind whose ultimate goal is to get Milo into over 2,000 schools by the end of the year 2017. It’s another step closer for Milo helping ASD learners throughout the country.