LDS and the University of Waterloo Social Intelligent Robotics Research Laboratory (SIRRL) are partnering to study the incorporation of assistive robotics into enhanced LDS RISE programs.  

What is an Assistive Robot?

An assistive robot is a device that can sense, process sensory information, and perform actions that benefit people with disabilities and older adults in the course of their daily living.

How have Assistive Robots been used to help students with special needs?

Socially assistive robots have been successfully used with children with autism with noted improvement in child engagement, enhanced attention levels, and improvement in social skills. Observations have suggested that children were more comfortable interacting with socially assistive robots due the greater consistency and predictability of robot behaviour and lack of judgement as compared to that of a person.

How will LDS and UW SIRRL study assistive robot – student interactions?

LDS and SIRRL are conducting a pilot study in 2021 with LDS students. Students are given the opportunity to interact with a socially assistive robot in a highly controlled environment alongside their regular instructor. Specific exercises are being developed that are expected to enhance student progress, in particular in areas that relate to social-emotional skills and speech language.


Read the LDS – University of Waterloo November 30, 2020 press release here.

Watch the University of Waterloo Social and Intelligent Robotics Research Laboratory Beyond Human video here ->


How can I participate in the LDS-SIRRL pilot program?

In 2021 LDS will be contacting families to explain the LDS-SIRRL program and identify first round participants.


Where will the pilot program run?

The LDS-SIRRL pilot study will be conducted primarily at the LDS East Vancouver Learning Centre

When will the pilot program start?

The pilot phase is running now, spring-summer 2021. We will be reaching out to additional families as we launch subsequent phases of this exciting program!

Our RISE-AT Studio is now live at our East Vancouver Learning Centre.


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