Speech Therapy Robot Wins IU Innovation Challenge

Posted: Updated:
Tingyu Li (left) and Pavithra Ramamurthy pitch their "Buddy" speech therapy robot for children with cleft lip and palate. (photo courtesy Indiana University) Tingyu Li (left) and Pavithra Ramamurthy pitch their "Buddy" speech therapy robot for children with cleft lip and palate. (photo courtesy Indiana University)
BLOOMINGTON -

A robot designed to help children with cleft lip and palate with speech therapy has won the top prize at the Cheng Wu Innovation Challenge at Indiana University. The robot, named Buddy, was designed by two IU graduate students who earned $7,500 for taking first place.

Tingyu Li and Pavithra Ramamurthy designed the robot which uses storytelling to help children with speech therapy at home among friends and family. Buddy also uses visual references showing children how to pronounce words.

"When a child is practicing in a clinical setting, she is thinking about how she is pronouncing the word," Ramamurthy said. "In a home setting, children get excited and talk really fast. That is the context Tingyu and I want to give. In a more comfortable surrounding where they are more at ease, they can take on the engaging activities of storytelling and visualization. Their friends are participating, their family is participating. The children are not alone. And as they go through the process, they're using the words in continuous speech."

Li and Ramamurthy say they plan to use the prize money to build another prototype of Buddy. The first prototype features a 3-D printed body and an animated face on a smartphone, which uses voice-recognition software to allow for real-time feedback. The pair hope to recruit developers and engineers to bring Buddy to commercialization.

Two teams tied for second place in the competition, each earning $3,750. They include:

  • Pulsar-Based Terrestrial Navigation: Technology designed by Ph.D. student Derek Whitley, who says it "is a way to replace the use of GPS satellites and instead rely upon the radiation from a vast network of pulsars in space."
  • Small Donation-Big Impact: A project that aims to educate the public about the greater impact monetary donations have to food banks versus food donations.

"Freeing students from immediate commercial considerations for their technological innovations has liberated them and empowered them to come up with truly inspiring solutions," said Travis Brown, assistant dean for innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization at the IU School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering. "Thanks to the generosity of alumnus Cheng Wu, the challenge has become an annual event that showcases the brilliance of our students and the breadth of disciplines that comprise the School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering."

  • Perspectives

    • How to Ensure Proper 401(k) Benefits Education

      From pay rate to wellness programs, there are many important areas that employers need to pay attention to regularly; however, there is one that is often forgotten — 401(k) benefits. A 401(k) plan provides employees with the opportunity to deduct a portion of their pay and use it as a contribution towards retirement. Properly saving for retirement is vital to ensuring a healthy lifestyle after an employee’s career comes to an end, but 50 percent of Americans claim to not...

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • (Rendering of phase two of the Riverfront Fort Wayne project provided by the city of Fort Wayne.)

      Fort Wayne Riverfront Contract Pulled

      A proposed $2.5 million contract for the design work for the next two phases of the Riverfront Fort Wayne project has been pulled. Our partners at WPTA-TV report the Fort Wayne City Council withdrew the contract, which was set to go to Philadelphia-based DAVID RUBIN Land Collective.

    • Hoosier Schools Among 'Best Colleges in America'

      Nearly two dozen Hoosier institutions are included in MONEY magazine's rankings of the Best Colleges in America. More than 700 schools are on the list, which was determined by a number of factors in three categories, including quality of education, affordability, and outcomes.

    • (Image courtesy of Inc.)

      Hoosier Companies Part of Inc. 5000

      An annual ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in the country includes 63 Hoosier businesses. Greenwood-based The Garrett Companies is again tops among Indiana companies on the Inc. 5000 list, breaking into the top 10 in the U.S. for the first time. Its number 10 national ranking is the highest for an Indiana-based business since 2016 when eLuxurySupply.com in Evansville placed fourth.

    • (photo courtesy of our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana)

      Economic Development Announcement Set For Gary

      An economic development announcement is set for Thursday in northwest Indiana. Governor Eric Holcomb and Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson will join executives from Pittsburgh-based United States Steel Corp. (NYSE: X) to give the news.

    • I-69 Delays Causing More Bloomington Traffic Problems

      Construction to complete section 5 of I-69 will take longer than expected and will impact students returning to IU. The "substantial completion" date for the stretch of interstate was August 31, but INDOT officials now say despite an accelerated schedule of 16-hour work days and six-day work weeks, the work won't be done for several more weeks.  INDOT says the construction will pose challenges for drivers in and around Bloomington through the end of the ...