The developers of Robota, Abdullah Shareef, Aditya Shastri and Rithika Korrapolu, said research suggests that kids with special needs often experience challenges communicating with teachers and other adults in school. Sometimes, they can be especially sensitive to judgment, or anxious about disappointing authority figures, for example.

The team developed Robota with the notion that robots are nonjudgmental figures, and kids may be more willing to communicate with them, and more relaxed doing so. The team used the TurtleBot, and software from Autonomous, Clarif.ai and IBM to make their prototype.

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