A handful of University students’ idealistic internship allowed them not only to serve the local community but also to put their classroom skills to the test over the summer. University students teamed up with local non-profit organization Louisiana Assistive Technology Access Network, LATAN, to program a robot that will help children with special needs.
University coordinator for the robotics engineering minor, Marcio de Queiroz, sent an email to all students with the minor to ask if they wanted to intern with LATAN and help program the robot. “Autistic kids are very responsive to technology,” he said. “They socialize better with machines than humans.” De Queiroz said the robotics engineering minor is growing, though it just started last fall with almost 70 students.
LATAN purchased Buddy from a French company called Aldebaran Robotics. Initially, the robot’s programming was primitive, which is why LATAN reached out to the University.
Learn more about this exciting project here.