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Project RAISE is a collaborative project between UCP of Central Florida and the University of Central Florida that aims to improve the social skills of students with disabilities by creating a teaching toolkit featuring the Dash™ robot and an AI-driven socially assistive robot, Zoobee™. Through the experience students will have opportunities to learn basic coding while also practicing real-world skills like problem solving, collaboration, cooperation, and strategic thinking in a safe, distraction-free environment. The team at the University of Central Florida designed, created, and patented the AI-driven socially assistive robot Zoobee™. UCF Pegasus Professor Lisa Dieker, PhD and UCF Associate Professor Rebecca Hines, PhD, will work with Ilene Wilkins, CEO of UCP of Central Florida on the project, which is funded through a $2.5 million Stepping-up Technology grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. The other researchers from UCF include: Charles Hughes, PhD, and Kathleen Ingraham, Program Director for the UCF Center for Research in Education Simulation Technologies.

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Eric Imperiale, Lisa A. Dieker, Charles E. Hughes, Kathleen Ingraham, Michael C. Hynes, “US Design Patent D895,027 S: 3-Dimensional Character,” Awarded September 1, 2020; Filed May 5, 2020. Assigned to University of Central Florida Research Foundation, Inc. 


This document was produced under U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs Grant No. H327S200009. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the positions or polices of the Department of Education. No official endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education of any product, commodity, service, or enterprise mentioned in this publication is intended or should be inferred. This product is public domain. Authorization to reproduce it in whole or in part is granted. While permission to reprint this publication is not necessary, the citation should be:

UCP of Central Florida (2020). Project RAISE: Robots and Artificial Intelligence to Improve Social Skills for Elementary Students, Orlando, FL, 32817, UCP of Central Florida


Charlie Hughes, Ph.D.
Pegasus Professor of Computer Science
Rebecca A. Hines, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Academic Program Coordinator