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Robotics Research
Posted on September 26, 2018 by

Robots to combat loneliness

No Isolation is a Norwegian startup, founded in October 2015. Their mission is to reduce involuntary loneliness and social isolation by developing communication tools that help those affected. No Isolation has created AV1, a robot that can help sick children to feel included with their school and friends. For more information see the IDTechEx report on New Robotics and Drones 2018-2038.
When a pupil can't attend class themselves, AV1 will take their place. AV1 is the telepresence robot for children and young adults suffering from long-term illness. AV1 lets the child or young adult at home or in hospital participate in the classroom on their own terms. AV1 signalises when the user is an active or passive listener and can raise their hand and talk or whisper if they want to. When it is time for a break, AV1 can join the classmates outside.
Being diagnosed with a long-term or chronic illness puts a dent in everyday life, and leads to missing school and time with friends. Often, the isolation can be as bad as the illness itself. That is why No Isolation created AV1.
AV1 is built to let children take part in school activities on their own terms. The children using AV1 can decide when to connect and disconnect, simply by pressing a button in the app. If the child is not feeling up for school, he or she can signalise that they want to be a passive listener, and a blue light will flash on the robot's head. If the child wishes to answer a question, they can raise their hand by pressing a button in the app, and a white light will flash. The AV1 can also be put into whisper mode, so only the children seated next to the AV1 will hear it. In this way the children feel less isolated and are able to participate in daily school life.
"(AV1) enabled one of my students to take six GCSEs this summer who previously hadn't been in full time education for years. It's a marvellous, inclusive device - highly recommend it to all schools." said Louise Clancy, Head Teacher at Canbury School, London.
Source and top image: No Islation
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