SkoBots: Language Revitalization Robots

Application for iNDigital Gallery Space on Indigenous innovation.

Idea: Interactive language revitalization robotics display with engaging augmented reality (AR) elements.

Background: I am excited to introduce SkoBots, a robot that I designed to revitalize Indigenous languages. As you may know, hundreds of Indigenous languages in the United States are extinct, and it is estimated that only 20 of these languages will remain by 2050. This is an alarming statistic, which is why SkoBots was created to provide free language education for youth using 3D-printed, wearable, motion-sensing robots that can speak four languages. SkoBots are not only an educational tool, but also unique art pieces that are decorated in regalia and traditional elements. These robots represent a step towards preserving our cultures and traditions while using youth designed modern technology. Our goal is to communicate the power of Indigenous futures, that we are capable of creating solutions for us by us and that we don't exist just in the past.

Artististic process and examples of what a display would look like:
Learn more:

SkoBots is a charitable initiative of The STEAM Connection: a youth and minority-led charity working to increase access to technical education for Indigenous youths through robots that we design, manufacture, and distribute for free. 600k+ youths have been reached and we are headquartered in Troy, Michigan USA. I am the founder and am Ojibwe from the Sault Ste Marie Tribe.

Details: The showcase would consist of an interactive language and robotics exhibit with augmented reality components that attendees can utilize on their phone, with cultural education especially regarding regalia and art, and with interactive artificial intelligence.

The display would include SkoBots that light up and respond to being approached with Indigenous phrases and songs. Headphones can be attached to the robots depending on sound requirements. SkoBots would wear regalia featuring beadwork and art by Danielle’s family and the theme would be Anishinaabe Futurisms.

There will be scannable AR elements that users can use through their phone on major applications such as Instagram and Snapchat to learn introductory Ojibwemowin phrases while wearing a virtual robot. 250k+ users have engaged with our AR lenses so far.

Placards will display the robot origins, background, and intentions while highlighting Indigenous youth innovation. A silent video with captions can be played to show the manufacturing and design process.

  • Danielle Boyer
    Lead Artists
  • Project Type:
    Installation, Augmented Reality, Other
  • Genres:
    Futurism, Robotics, language, language revitalization
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Student Project: