Technology: Minnie, A Robot That Makes You Passionate About Reading

Minnie, the new robot that invites children and teenagers to read more books. It's called Minnie's new robot able to enthuse the books from an early age. With the advent of increasingly advanced digital tools, the passion for books is waning more and more not only in adults, but especially in children and teenagers who prefer to dabble in another way.

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For this reason, technology has come to the aid of learning with a new artificial character that would make it possible to entice children to read more and in a more pleasant way. It is a robot-friend who teaches how to read to younger children, and makes even those in post-school age become passionate about reading.

A robot to make you read more

Reading is often associated by children with a tedious and not pleasant activity.

For this reason, researchers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison have decided to devise a robot-friend that accompanies children during the first readings, making them a fun and no longer a duty given by adults. As the head of the research team, Joseph Michaelis, reiterated, after a single interaction the children were pleasantly impressed by the robot-friend, and more generally by having someone to share their readings.

The experimental phase

The University of Wisconsin research has tested the Minnie robot on a program of 25 readings, including different stories and specific skills for children's learning. During this phase the children had to read aloud, always followed by the Minnie robot, which had been set up to follow the reading with interest.

The experimentation led to an obvious conclusion. Children who were supported by the robot-friend learned much faster and more effectively than those who were not encouraged to read by Minnie. Michaelis himself commented on how the children, talking about their experience after only two weeks, told how "the robot was nice and funny, and that they could not wait to see it again."

According to the researchers this would be the clear proof that social learning, combined with the presence of a reading companion, would be more effective and faster, since it helps to develop in the subjects interests and skills that are shared with someone else. Intenance is reinforced through dialogue and distribution of workload.
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