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Robotics company Embodied has released a robot called Moxie that helps children with their social-emotional development. As parents work from home, they're eager to keep their kids busy, and Moxie helps by building soft skills, with a special focus on those with learning difficulties. We explore the insights behind this and how Moxie caters to diverse needs.

With an expressive facial display and animatronic movements, Moxie is designed to act as a kid's specialized best friend. Moxie focuses on a different theme each week, including kindness, friendship, empathy, and respect, and personalizes content to a child over time. While the $1,499 price tag is prohibitive, Embodied’s experts say that building interaction from 15-20 minutes a day to three to five times weekly helps to keep kids engaged. “Kids are quick adopters of technology,” says Paolo Pirjanian, Embodied co-founder. “And the pain points for the parents are super high. Especially if you have a child that’s on the spectrum – we started talking to some families and it was very clear that they needed a solution to help them.”

Moxie is also catering to diverse needs, from neurotypical to those with learning difficulties
Embodied (2020) ©

Gen Alphas are growing up with a digital imprint almost from birth, impacting how they communicate both online and off. And it’s redefining parenting – 76% of Gen Yer parents use smart devices to keep their children safe and well behaved. Moxie fits the bill by occupying kids’ time – a bonus that’s especially relevant during the pandemic. But with its focus on social-emotional development, Moxie is also catering to diverse needs, from neurotypical to those with learning difficulties. By prioritizing soft skills and neuro-inclusivity, Moxie is introducing skills that will be essential as Gen Alphas grow up. Toca Boca is another play-based smart toy that's proving effective for all children, by giving them the opportunity to explore and learn autonomously. 

Sophie Robinson is a behavioural analyst at Canvas8. She has a degree in social anthropology from the University of Manchester and always tries to deconstruct stereotypes of normality. When not questioning why she’s watching a short film or writing a screenplay. 


21 May 20
2 min read

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