By: Varsha Nekkanti
On Friday, August 10th, Team Bippy pitched to a panel of judges at the LaunchX Demo Day at MIT. Over the course of two weeks, we 3D printed two shells of Bippy and focused on bringing Bippy to life.
However, the key aspect of our company’s development that we are currently working on is testing our product. We have been setting up tests with elementary school children with ADHD over the last couple of weeks, hoping to gain valuable insight on the effectiveness of our product. Our first test was with an 11 year old boy. For this particular test, the boy had a computer open displaying a color on the screen. The purpose of this was to test the lighting feature that Bippy has. In the actual product, parents would input a particular task that the child has to complete and the time period in which the child has to do it in. The light would be green, yellow, or red to indicate the child’s progress with that particular assignment (for more information on Bippy’s features, please refer to Blog Post #2).
We noticed that the boy made eye contact with the screen 11 times when the color was green and 3 times when the color was yellow. Additionally, we found that for the first half of the test, the boy looked up at screen whenever the audio played, but did not look up at the screen for the second half. This indicates that the boy became more comfortable and trusting of the robot.
Our second test was with a boy who was nine years old. An important discovery we made from this particular test was that the boy emotionally responded to the screen, despite it not being a human presence. The boy responded out loud to the questions that the screen asked, and responded to the camera by holding up his worksheet after he completed a set of math problems. When the program asked the boy if he was sure that he did a particular problem correctly, the boy responded with doubt, indicating the clear impact that the screen had on him. For our future tests, we would like to test our actual Bippy prototype (beyond just the concept our company is based upon), how different voices affect the student, and gain metrics on how much Bippy actually improves the focus of the student.