The Science and Technology Behind Moxie
At Embodied, our team of experts including engineers, roboticists, neuroscientists, child development specialists, and creative storytellers, have been working for the past several years to rethink and reinvent how we utilize human-machine interaction to fuel new ways of interacting and learning. Drawing on evidence-led science and our combined expertise, we’ve developed a new revolutionary robot to help children: Moxie.
Powered by our platform, SocialX™, Moxie is able to perceive, process and respond to natural conversation, eye contact, facial expressions and other behavior as well as recognize and recall people, places, and things to create a unique and personalized learning experience for your child. SocialX™ includes cloud-based software, software that is included in the parent App which is downloadable onto a user’s phone as well as software downloaded onto the robot Moxie.
SocialXChat™ is a part of our SocialX™ platform that stimulates conversations between the user and Moxie. It utilizes artificial intelligence to assist Moxie in replying verbally and non-verbally to questions from users who are interfacing with Moxie. SocialXChat™ includes cloud-based software, software that is included in the parent App which is downloadable onto a user’s phone, as well as software downloaded onto the robot.
Our state-of-the-art platform combined with content informed by best practices in child development, come together to create a revolution in learning for children.
How does a robot help with learning?
How does this compare with other ways of learning?
Looking across 65 studies comparing embodied agents (e.g. robots) vs. non-embodied agents. Robots significantly outperformed non-embodied agents in 78.5% of the studies:
This looked at both objective task performance AND user experience.
*See footnotes 1-6 for studies referenced
What else does research say?
Children like robots! Robots can engage and motivate children. They’ll anthropomorphize robots with life-like characteristics, states and rights.7 They form friendships and share thoughts.8,9 This type of engagement can help children with learning.
Numerous studies (over 12,500 peer-reviewed articles!) also show strong scientific evidence that robots can help children improve social skills.
*See footnotes 10-14 for studies referenced
So, I know my child will play with a robot, but what skills can my child learn?
*See footnotes 15-19 for studies referenced
Personalization of the interaction through machine learning and AI increases learning gains. Hear more from our expert on individualized interactions:
Any additional benefits to using robots?
*See footnotes 20-22 for studies referenced
So what research is there about Moxie specifically?
In our preliminary studies, we’ve found that interactions with Moxie may help children improve in developing social and emotional skills.
In our first preliminary study, we observed a group of children (twelve in total) who interacted with Moxie (3 times a week for 15 minutes) over a period of 6 weeks. Assessments were made before and after their time with Moxie and significant improvements were found in the following areas:
We then launched our Moxie Pioneer Mentor Program as a second preliminary study, one of the largest studies to date in observing how a companion robot, like Moxie, can help promote social, emotional, and cognitive development among a neurodiverse group of children between the ages of 5-10. Families from across the country volunteered to participate in the program, with children spending time engaging in meaningful daily play with Moxie and parents providing ongoing feedback to the Embodied team. To explore Moxie’s impact on skill development, parents completed standardized assessments including the Social Skills Improvement System (SSIS) and the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS-2). The SSIS evaluates social skills, problem behaviors, and academic competence, while the SRS-2 identifies the presence and severity of social impairment within the autism spectrum and differentiates it from that which occurs in other disorders. Assessments were completed one month prior to receiving Moxie, again right before Moxie arrived, and again after one month of having Moxie. Confidential assessments were completed online and then scored and analyzed by a Doctor of Occupational Therapy.
A total of 51 families completed pre- and post-assessments and were included in our analysis. Findings indicate that after one month of interacting with Moxie:
- 71% of children made SOME improvement in social skills
- 50% of children made SIGNIFICANT improvement in social skills
- 69% of children made SOME improvement in behavior
- 49% of children made SIGNIFICANT improvement in behavior
- Neurotypical and Neurodiverse children improved equally on social skills
- Biggest areas of change: communication, social engagement, emotion regulation
Anecdotally, many parents reported behavioral changes in their child since they first started engaging with Moxie. Changes included feeling happier and less lonely, being better able to cope with their emotions and calm themselves down when upset, increased politeness and helpfulness, expressing thoughts and feelings more clearly, and greater interest in the thoughts and feelings of others.
We will be expanding our research beyond these preliminary studies to further explore how robots like Moxie can help children (in a range of abilities) improve social and emotional skills. The preliminary studies involved small sample sizes and may not be indicative of actual results. The results of a child’s interaction with Moxie may vary. Individual participants may or may not directly benefit from interacting with Moxie and may not experience any observable behavioral changes. Families were not compensated for their participation in our preliminary studies. For further details on our initial preliminary study, you can view our white paper which has been published here.
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