An engineer from the Usman Institute of Technology has developed a robot, PEEKO, to improve the abilities of children with autism and overcome their loneliness through communication. Autism is a developmental condition that affects the social and communication skills of a child.
Abbas to launch PEEKO in four months
In the nationwide competition of creative ideas, held under the National Ideas Bank, PEEKO has been named the best creative idea in the healthcare sector. President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi also awarded a cash prize of Rs. 75,000 to the young engineer for securing the first position in the category of health sector ideas. Abbas aims to launch the project worldwide after certain improvements.
Abbas revealed that he has set a timeline of four months for the launch of PEEKO and such robots will be initially provided to institutes for children with autism. He further added that the robot will be introduced in the market for Rs. 200,000. In this regard, he has partnered with a business startup to launch the robot and is in talks with some investors for pre-seed funding.
Parents and children have expressed interest in the robot
The initial results of this robot are very encouraging and autistic children along with their parents have also expressed interest in it. The robot is equipped with a camera and touch sensors, as well as ultrasonic sensors, to eliminate the problem of touching children with autism. The invention works on machine learning and algorithm, while a mobile application will take children’s data and connect it to the robot. As per World Bank, one million children in Pakistan suffer from autism and there is a lack of trained specialists/staff to deal with their mental and physical problems. PEEKO aims to recognize the emotions of children with autism and help them communicate effectively.
Source: Express Tribune