Leka, an interactive robotic toy developed for children with autism and other developmental disorders, engages kids in educational games and therapy using interactive features and games.
Leka is a robotic interactive ball designed to help children with special needs learn and develop through play. Designed to change the way children with developmental disorders play and interact, the smart toy helps engage the kids in multisensory games while simultaneously tracking their progress.
Leka uses sensors to detect and respond to a child's actions and the toy’s interactive responses help kids develop different skills and pick up social cues. For instance, if a child throws the toy to the ground, it turns red, signifying sadness, and Leka’s range of responses – including those communicated with music, sounds, lights, pictures and speech – can stimulate even children with limited areas of interest to find a source of motivation. Leka also guides children through different daily tasks using pictograms and voice instructions, helping them complete the tasks on their own.
The robotic ball uses lights, sounds and vibrations to keep children engaged and motivated in different activities that help them learn social skills and make progress in their interaction with their parents and caregivers. It is the first smart robotic toy developed specifically for children with special needs, and helps motivate them to play educational games, engage in social interactions, and improve their cognitive, emotional and motor skills while learning to become more autonomous.
Developed using input from therapists, caregivers and parents, Leka can be used at school, at home, at the office and in a variety of other settings to facilitate and complement therapy and make it more accessible and efficient. The toy's responses and applications can be customized to meet the needs of each individual child and the settings – lights, volume and speed – can be adjusted for different sensory inputs.
The smart toy was developed by Leka, a startup at the Kansas City-based Sprint Accelerator, dedicated to creating products that help exceptional children live an exceptional life. The company recently finished a successful crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo and is expected to start shipping the Leka toy in 2017. Watch the video below to learn more about the ground-breaking product and its benefits for children with special needs.