Here is Leka, a robot to help disabled children

Entirely made in France, this robot resembling Tamagotchi IRL is intended in particular for disabled children, in order to promote their access to digital technology.

The end of the year does not only mean big names in tech, with the imminent arrival of the Xiaomi 12. Featured in a report by Science and the Future, here is Leka, an adorable French robot imagined by APF France handicap, formerly known by the surname of the Association des Paralysés de France. Under its robotic companion air, the little white robot is actually a tool intended to facilitate access to digital technology for children with disabilities.

Concretely, Leka is able to play with her owner, but also teach him new skills, mostly related to the digital world. With its big eyes and its emoji look, the mini robot could become a powerful ally for professionals working daily with young people with disabilities.

A robot to enter the digital bubble

Leka’s initiative is French, and comes from two former engineering students, Marine Couteau and Ladislas de Toldi. “We had a teacher who told us about his autistic child, saying he was in his bubble”, explain the two inventors to Sciences et Avenir. “We had the idea of ​​creating a small spherical robot reminiscent of the world of the child and allowing him to interact with the one around him”. After ten years of research, the launch of Leka could help children, especially those with autism spectrum disorders and Down’s syndrome for example, to better interact with their interlocutors.

In addition to enabling the child to acquire new cognitive skills, Leka could also act as a mediator between children with disabilities and their therapists. One can in particular imagine the interest of the robot in the case of young patients having difficulties in communicating with the outside world. Ten years after his first steps, Leka is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

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