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How robots could help children with diabetes

19 October 2015

A research study funded by the European Commission and led by Plymouth University has shown that young people are more inclined to perform tasks related to their diabetes if they are prompted by an individualised interactive robot.

ALIZ-E, an €8.3 million study lasting four and a half years, has used Nao robots to interact with children about their diabetes. The robots are equipped with specially designed speech recognition software which enables them to interact with a child and give personalised responses. The robots can perform tasks including keeping a diary to record food intake, insulin injections and blood glucose levels. Through quizzes and games, robots can also help children to better understand diabetes and the information they have been given.

The prototype robots were initially tested at a hospital in Milan, and following initial success, trials were carried out in 11 other centres across Europe on children aged between 7 and 11.

Researchers are now also exploring other uses for the robots, including helping children with other medical conditions such as autism.

Source:Plymouth University website

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