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'My robot makes me feel like I haven't been forgotten'

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by MeSci, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. MeSci

    MeSci Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Maybe also worth looking at https://www.s4me.info/threads/teenager-with-me’s-life-has-been-transformed-by-a-robot-that-helps-her-learn.4033/#post-72295

    Source: BBC News

    Date: August 30, 2018

    Author: Padraig Belton

    URL: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45332710

    'My robot makes me feel like I haven't been forgotten'
    ------------------------------------------------------

    Internet-connected robots that can stream audio and video are increasingly helping housebound sick children and elderly people keep in touch with teachers, family and friends, combating the scourge of isolation and loneliness.

    Zoe Johnson, 16, hasn't been to school since she was 12. She went to the doctor in 2014 'with a bit of a sore throat', and 'somehow that became A&E [accident and emergency],' says her mother, Rachel Johnson. The doctors diagnosed myalgic encephalomyelitis, ME for short, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - a debilitating illness affecting the nervous and immune systems. Zoe missed a lot of school but was able to continue with her studies with the help of an online tutor.

    But 'over the years her real-world friendships disappeared because she's not well enough to see anybody,' says Ms Johnson.

    For the last three months, though, she has been taking classes alongside her former classmates using a 'telepresence' robot called AV1. The small, cute-looking robot, made my Oslo-based start-up No Isolation, sits in the classroom and live streams video and audio back to Zoe's tablet or smartphone at home. She can speak through the robot and take part in lessons, also controlling where AV1 is looking.

    When she wants to ask a question the robot's head starts blinking on and off to alert the teacher. And when she's too tired or sick to participate she can turn AV1's head blue as a signal. 'It makes my life a lot more exciting and makes me feel like I haven't been forgotten,' Zoe says. With the robot's help she was able to take five GCSE exams this year. 'We're celebrating because she did so much better than we ever dared hope,' says Ms Johnson. Zoe is going on to study History A-level and is looking forward to doing so 'with my friends, rather than on my own at home'.

    (...)

    Robot market analyst Lian Jye Su, at ABI Research, believes the market for telepresence robots will grow from $164m (126m pounds) to $237m by 2023. But they're not cheap - AV1 costs 2,200 pounds or 167 pounds a month to rent, while Ohmnilabs' Ohmni robot costs from 1,150 pounds.
     
  2. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    Good to see an article on the BBC that accepts without question that ME is a disabling physical illness and reflects the reality of a child unable to go to school for many years, and even at home sometimes being too ill to take part in lessons. And great to see how much robots are helping sick children.
     
  3. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yes, these could be gamechangers- for many illnesses/ conditions.
    We are thinking of fundraising to for a school trial.

    But, the benefits would seem to be limited to those mildly affected by ME.
    I don' t know what happens when you miss chunks of the curriculum with this - say a couple of mornings a week - but not on any preplanned or regular basis.
    This is always an issue that seems schools find difficult to appreciate - they seem to think that children will just slot back in.

    If there was a record facility that could be used to " catch up" that would be good. Virtual classrooms do this , so it' s great if your child has sleep shifted - they can learn at the time they are able.

    This is also used for elderly to combat lonliness - might be interesting to compare this interaction with the proposed CBT being trialled...
     
  4. Kalliope

    Kalliope Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    For those who'd like to get to know AV1 a little better here is a diploma project from The Oslo School of Architecture and Design

    Exploring the use of educational and social avatars

    It says that the largest user group of AV1 are children and adolescents with ME. More about that at pages 41 - 47.
     
    MSEsperanza, andypants, Amw66 and 2 others like this.
  5. Kalliope

    Kalliope Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    There is an article in New York Times as well
     
  6. MSEsperanza

    MSEsperanza Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    https://www.noisolation.com/global/av1/alternative-provision-innovation-fund/




    Moderator note: thread on this project here
    https://www.s4me.info/threads/uk-hospital-and-outreach-education-granted-£500k-to-provide-continued-education-to-children-absent-from-school-due-to-long-term-illness.8532/
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2019

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