According to Catherine So, associate professor of educational psychology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, more than 1200 children have used RABI since its launch in 2015: Robot for Autism Behavioural Intervention. RABI represents an educational programme that uses role-playing to help children with autism – between the ages of 3 and 18 – improve their social skills. RABI is part of an initiative that has been adopted by non-profit organisations and schools.
As mentioned in the Reuters article, a typical class involves two small robots acting out social scenarios, thereby helping the autistic children to see the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour, such as tantrums or screaming. As articulated by a happy mother: “We believe RABI can help children with autism improve their social and behavioural skills, and in turn enhance the quality of their life.”