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Social robots used to help children suffering from medical issues

The ALIZ-E project aims to make artificial intelligence that can be used by robots to interact with children suffering from physical and mental problems
By: Michael Hatamoto | Science, Space & Robotics News | Posted: Nov 15, 2014 12:07 am

The multi-million-Euro project ALIZ-E, spearheaded by Plymouth University and funded by the European Commission, hopes to create artificial intelligence that can better interact with children suffering from diabetes. The ALIZ-E Nao robots stand about 60 centimeters tall and uses speech recognition software to provide personalized responses to children.




The ALIZ-E project was started in 2010 with the aim to develop AI for small robots that can gauge how kids interact with these robots. Developing AI that can personalize interactions with individual children, suffering from a wide variety of mental and physical medical problems, has proven difficult - but current tests across Europe are proving successful.


"This is not just about a novelty factor catching the youngers' attention, it is about the robots engaging in a way the children accept and giving them information they can understand and be motivated by," said Tony Belpaeme, ALIZ-E academic lead and Professor of Cognitive Systems and Robotics. "In many cases where a child has diabetes, you notice their confidence has been knocked and the robot can help restore that."


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