If Angry birds is known for anything, it’s an ability to engage youths for extended periods of time. But a research at Georgia Tech has proved that teaching a robot how to play Angry birds keeps kids engaged for even longer, a finding that could help children dealing with cognitive and motor-skill disabilities.
A team of researchers observed how kids were engaged with Angry Birds and how that engagement could be influenced on who was sitting beside them. The kids were allowed to play the games as an adult watched on, and then to teach the humanoid how to play Rovio’s popular game. Essentially, the robot is smart enough to learn the child’s movements and record snippets of useful information, such as where fingers start and stop, and how the objects on the screen move according to each other, while constantly keeping an eye on the score to check for signs of success.
When it is the humanoid’s turn, it mimics the movements and plays the game.
If the bird is a dud and does not cause any damage, the robot shakes its head in disappointment.
If the building topples and points increase, the eyes light up and the machine celebrates with a happy sound and dance.
“The robot is able to learn by watching because it knows how interaction with a tablet app is supposed to work,” writes project leader Ayanna Howard, a professor at Georgia Tech. “It recognizes that a person touched here and ended there, then deciphers the information that is important and relevant to its progress.”
The robots ability to analyze and adapt to new information suggests they could have a role to play in rehabilitation for disabled children, a process that often involves lengthy and monotonous exercises that can be tiring for a parent.
As Howard puts it, “Imagine that a child’s rehab requires a hundred arm movements to improve precise hand-coordination movements … if a robotic friend needs help with the game, the child is more likely to take the time to teach it, even if it requires repeating the same instructions over and over again.”
That flexibility is one reason Howard and Park see their robot-smart tablet system as a future rehabilitation tool for children with cognitive and motor-skill disabilities
Via : Gatech