A Wearable Language Revitalization Robot for Indigenous Youths
A wearable, customizable, and interactive language learning robot for Indigenous youths that senses motion and speaks. It was created as a language revitalization and STEM educational tool for Indigenous youths to make their own that costs less than $100 dollars to make. SkoBots was designed entirely by Indigenous leaders.
SkoBots was launched September 2021 in Dine Bizaad, Ojibwemowin, and Taino at the American Indian Science and Engineering Society National Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.
Language learning made easy.
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In the summer of 2020, our mentor Dr. Joshuaa Allison-Burbank and founder Danielle Boyer created the fundraiser Books for Diné Bikéyah to bring Diné books to Diné youth living in Navajo Nation during the pandemic. With the help of Salina Bookshelf, the fundraiser brought in over $40,000 in donations. This fundraiser was created for the youth who couldn't get outside during the pandemic to provide educational opportunity.
Dr. Allison-Burbank is an accomplished Developmental Scientist at Johns Hopkins University, a Speech-Language Pathologist, founder of Little Moccasins Educational Services, Author, and Educator who does Indigenous children's book reviews on his Instagram at @ndnslp.
Combining Dr. Allison-Burbank's expertise and Boyer's work as a robotics inventor, educational activist, and as someone who is working to learn her own traditional language, SkoBots was created. SkoBots is an interactive and wearable educational robot that sits on your shoulder to teach our youths their traditional languages. It was created in the design software SOLIDWORKS. The 3D printed robot incorporates traditional and personal elements into the unique design and responds to being approached.
This project is by Danielle Boyer Ojibwe (Inventor), Dr. Joshuaa Allison-Burbank Diné & Pueblo (Speech-Language Pathologist), Robert Maldonado Taino (Design Mentor) with design contributions and inspiration for the circular face design and feet from 13-year-old Vinaya Gunasekar.