With these automata children work values such as patience, good food and having to pay attention to another being
Social robots that interact and communicate with humans as if they were pets, improve the quality of life of children in hospitals, said engineering professor and coordinator of the research group in robotics La Salle University Ramon Llull (URL), Jordi Albo.
The engineer, with the help of his research team, has implanted in the Sant Joan de Deu Hospital of Barcelona using custom controllers that help children overcome their stay in the hospital and also encouraging them, instills positive values . Albo explained that “these robots are used in the preoperative, emergencies and especially in the area of oncology, since it can take up to chemotherapy.”
Each robot used in the Sant Joan de Deu Hospital, said engineering professor, has “its own personality and its own aesthetic appearance,” and there are dinosaur-shaped, of different animals and similar to cartoon animated.
Because of these unique identity, children are often habituate to be with a single controller and when health give others “may reject them” because they do not recognize in them the robot with which already has “a friendship “. According to Albo, “the child knows that the robot is a robot” but is also able to “give people attributes to an object.” “They are social robots that have patterns of behavior as people”.
For the coordinator of the research group in robotics, “with these automatons children work values such as patience, good food and having to pay attention to another being,” since children “have to feed them a balanced and play with them because if you do not get depressed. ”
“Fun A treatment”
Many of these robots can easily pass for toys and some models are already on sale with some modifications, is the case of educational automaton Aisoy with a production cost less than 300 euros, or dinosaur Pleo, with a price of less than 400 euros sale.
These robots “allows you extrapolate what works like a dog or a cat in a alternative therapy – albo has affected animals also need more care and can not go to the area of oncology as a matter of hygiene.” For the engineer, “animals used for therapy live less stress involved for them” while if the battery of a robot runs out (have a range of one hour) can be replaced by another and children can follow having fun.
Albo, who in 2012 was awarded the Alan Turing award for his contribution to the development of technology, stands on these automata which also serve to relieve stress experienced by parents of admitted or pending medical tests children. “Parents are extremely worried and anxious to convey that children” and if the children are distracted by an automaton “parents can avoid because they know the child is well.”
Along the student Daniel Cordoba, the coordinator of robotics URL created Hookie, an automaton cube-shaped manufacturing 100% Spanish, and is currently developing Casper, another robot that in its early stages of development is shaped like a turtle . For the design and creation of Casper have worked “more than 200 children and many professionals of the Hospital Sant Joan de Deu” as psychologists, nurses and volunteers at the center.
“These robots improve the quality of life in general children and can also help children with autism or brain damage,” he clarified the specialist robotics engineer who now heads a group of 16 researchers in Boston (USA) to develop robots to help advance the social skills of autistic children.