Social Robots Aid Convalescing Children
A new study done by Massachusetts Institute of Technology demonstrates
that 'social robots' used in support sessions held in paediatric units at
hospitals can lead to more positive emotions in sick children.
Many hospitals host interventions in paediatric units, where child life specialists will provide clinical interventions to hospitalized children for developmental and coping support. This involves play, preparation, education, and behavioural distraction for both routine medical care, as well as before, during, and after difficult procedures. Traditional interventions include therapeutic medical play and normalizing the environment through activities such as arts and crafts, games, and celebrations.
The study primarily demonstrated the feasibility of integrating Huggable (Huggable is a plush teddy bear with a screen depicting animated eyes) into the interventions. Results show improved emotional, physical, and verbal outcomes that could contribute to better and faster recovery in hospitalized children. The results indicated that children playing with Huggable experienced positive emotions.