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Ryan Etzwiler & Moira Southern

Project Summary
Choregraphe 1.14.2 and the freeware programming language Python were used to program a socially assistive humanoid NAO robot to deliver physical therapy in the form of a ten-minute series of balancing and gross-motor exercises tailored to Down syndrome children ages 4-8. This work was based on studies that suggest developing balance and gross motor functions may improve symptoms of Down syndrome in children. Prepackaged movements in Choregraphe were used, and movements that were not included in the prepackaged software were programmed in Choregraphe for the NAO robot to touch toes, assume the warrior position, balance on the right and left feet, and engage in the head, shoulders, knees, and toes exercise. Choregraphe was also used to program motivational components that studies report motivate children to engage in exercises led by humanoid robots. Python was coded to set the timing for each exercise so that the robot moves smoothly throughout the exercise routine.

A preliminary clinical study using our programmed NAO robot is currently being run at an organization that serves children ages 4-8 who have Down syndrome. Preliminary results suggest that children (ages 4-5) are most engaged in the exercises presented by the NAO robot.  

Ryan Etzwiler

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Moira Southern

I am Moira Southern! When I'm not busy partaking in science research, which is the activity that I enjoy the most out of all of my undertakings, I like to read novels and create videos that can be found at MoiMoiFilms. I have a diverse interest in books: I like many different genres, such as adventure, mystery, action, romance, comedy, and horror. My favorite movies are anything that Bill Murray stars in, especially What About Bob. I also was an avid member of Breck's Quiz Bowl team. Additionally, I was a member of the tennis team, alpine skiing team, and golf team at Breck. I will be going to the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities next year. I am undecided about what I want to study in college; however, I plan to continue research during my college career. I am interested in physics, computer science, linguistics, Chinese, cartography, mathematics, statistics, writing English literature (specifically Shakespeare's Hamlet), writing poetry, psychology, graphic design, and Accounting. 

Honors & Awards
Ryan Etzwiler (2016) & Moira Southern(2016) worked in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Minnesota under the guidance of Dr. Maria Gini. At the Twin Cities regional science fair, Ryan and Moira won the Intel Excellence in Computer Science Award, the 3M Inventor Award, and qualified for both the North Central Junior Science and Humanities Symposium competition and the State Science and Engineering Fair. At the state fair, they won the IBM Watson Innovation Award and the Wolfram Research Mathematica Software Award, a Mathematica software award for the 1st place project in each category. They also participated in the Tri-State JSHS competition. Ryan will be attending Colorado College, and Moira will be attending the University of Minnesota.