New App Developed by Robotics Experts for Children with Special Needs

Based on lessons-learned for engaging children in robotics, a novel cause-and-effect app has been released. Forest Fighter is designed to enhance motor skills for young children and kids with motor or cognitive delays. With a phenomenal ability to set options, this app will keep kids motivated and engaged. Developed by Zyrobotics, LLC, the app is designed to improve visual attention, timing, coordination and control. Parents can also use this switch-accessible app to reinforce Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals or just to have fun with their child.

What started out as a project to design a robot to function as a rehabilitation tool for children with cognitive and motor-skill disabilities, ended up resulting in a new app that can be used to help with motor skills development for both young children as well as kids with motor or cognitive delays.

With the help of a tablet and the Forest Fighter app, children can now do something typically reserved for the clinical setting: play games to improve motor skills. Zyrobotics has designed an app with a phenomenal ability to individualize gaming options such that the unique needs of each child are addressed. The app is designed for teaching cause-and-effect for goals such as improving visual attention, targeting and timing, and coordination and control. Both graphics and sound can be graded for sensory sensitive kids or for kids that are easily distracted.

The app also has the ability for parents to initially reduce and then add back visual input, as well as the ability to turn off the music and sound effects. Parents can also adjust the speed of the game and difficulty levels, thus ensuring both confidence and competency by being able to start on the child’s functional level and then progressing them as they are able. By changing things just a little, a kid will be able to master control and accuracy bit by bit. Best of all, this app is designed to be switch-accessible such that children who have severe motor impairments and use a switch to activate or operate toys, computers, communication devices, etc. can engage in the same game-play as all kids.

Key Features:
* Fun for all children, with additional features to help children with special needs
* Fully customizable settings can adjust game options based on the skill level of the child
* Just touch the screen to play or use an external switch (connected through a Bluetooth switch interface such as TabAccess)
* Beginner’s options to help children gain confidence during game play
* Graphics and music can be graded to make this game suitable for sensory sensitive kids or for kids that are easily distracted

Forest Fighter 1.0 is Free and available worldwide through the App Store in the Education category. Forest Fighter is also available for Android devices on Google Play.

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