Spark-funded organization Interbots recently took first place in a competition sponsored by The Robotics Technology Consortium, Carnegie Mellon University and the Innovation Accelerator. RoboBowl Pittsburgh is the first in a series of new venture competitions aimed at supporting start-ups that utilize robotics in ways that improve healthcare, manufacturing, national defense, and education.

Interbots specializes in designing and creating interactive characters, both as physical robots and as virtual software. The organization took first place in the RoboBowl for their Spark-supported project Popchilla. Popchilla, a robot that Interbots plans to make available to consumers, could help boost the social skills of children with autism. Namely, it aims to help autistic children better identify and express emotions. Children with autism spectrum disorders often have an easier time communicating with robots than they do with parents and friends. However, very few autism therapy robots are designed for home use. Popchilla aims to change that. Here at Spark, we are excited to see a project in which we believe so strongly receiving even more acclaim and support.

If you aren’t already familiar with Popchilla, watch this video to see the robot in action.