When BPI France launched its call for expressions of interest for the French Tech Acceleration fund, and thus promote the growth of French start-ups, the Versailles Academy and Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines positioned themselves to develop a inclusive and innovative educational project. Thus was born SQYpi, an artificial intelligence (AI) project at the service of inclusion in schools, the result of the collaboration between the Academy of Versailles, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and the young start-up Blue Frog Robotics and his emotional robot Buddy.
“In partnership with the Académie de Versailles, we have looked at how to promote the inclusion of students in difficulty, with developmental disabilities, such as autistic children for example, thanks to artificial intelligence, explains Laurence Dorée, General Manager Childhood, family, educational digital assistant at the city of Élancourt. AI in the school environment almost does not exist. We have chosen Blue Frog Robotics which, since 2014, has been focusing on emotional AI for seniors, vulnerable people or education, but mainly at home. The school-based approach is totally innovative. »
Five classes concerned
Presented at the Educ@tech Expo Paris trade fair, Porte de Versailles, on Wednesday November 30, the little robot Buddy is already in the test and “development phase in five classes in the urban area,” explains Laurence Dorée. During the next 18 months, between September 2022 and March 2024, Buddy will learn thanks to feedback from teachers, the reactions and needs of different students, as well as the various necessary adaptations that will emerge as time goes on. Our ambition is then to be able to deploy it in each of the twenty-five Ulis classes (localized units for inclusive education) in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines”.
Facilitate learning, develop links, understand and manage emotions, improve relationships, etc., “Buddy is an additional tool available to teachers to facilitate children’s learning,” emphasizes Laurence Dorée. Teachers can also integrate course materials directly into Buddy. »
On the Blue Frog Robotics website, presenting the philosophy of his company, Rodolphe, the founder, explains in particular that “Buddy is the future of technology and I am proud that our Buddy is accepted all over the world. Every day we receive messages from our future consumers who are waiting to welcome Buddy into their homes. Additionally, organizations in the healthcare, education and hospitality sectors have partnered with us to offer new and improved services to their customers. »
For its part, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines is continuing to develop its educational digital project. For 3 years, it has been offering tablets, TNI (interactive digital boards), tutoring, robotics, an ENT (digital work space) to the 28,000 students and 1,500 teachers in the agglomeration, not to mention the device “Move your class” and its innovative furniture.
PHOTO CREDIT : DR
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Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines – Buddy, a robot to facilitate school inclusion | The Gazette of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines
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