Six school kids from the American city of San Diego developed an app that gamifies exercising and physical movements, especially aimed at helping kids with autism. The app also helped them win the Innovation Impact Award at the FIRST Global Innovation Awards World Championship recently.
Their app, Pathfinder, has personalized and customizable games for kids with autism. In order to advance in the games and earn more playing time, a user must complete certain physical tasks. The activities can be tracked and measured with the help of the accelerometer in the device. The team that calls itself Mechanical Advantage consists of Rohan Bosworth, Manjusri Gobiraj, Kaila Rosing, Christina Schierbeck, Riley Hopkins, and Arya Bosworth.
Team captain Rohan Bosworth says that they interacted with many kids with autism prior to taking part in the competition. They realized that the special needs children struggle with certain behavioral traits and decided to use those to their benefit. The team is now working on turning the app developed for the competition into a real-world app.
Encouraged by the reception of Pathfinder, the team says it will work on more such projects in the future that would help leverage science for the betterment of their community.