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Testing a friendly robot who can help calm kids visiting hospital

Published:15 October 2019

CQUniversity has started trials of a humanoid-style robot which has been programmed to calm kids being treated in hospital.

CQUniversity has started trials of a humanoid-style robot which has been programmed to calm kids being treated in hospital.

Professor Kerry Reid-Searl says that Engineering, Nursing and Psychology academics have been working to program a Pepper brand robot for duty on the kids ward of a hospital.

With additional programming guidance from Professor Steven Moore, from Engineering, academics this week started testing the robot with kids in a simulated hospital ward at CQUniversity's Mackay City Campus.

“Rennie the Robot will be able to converse with the kids on the ward and explain the procedures they are going through in a way that will delight children and reduce their feelings of apprehensiveness,” Professor Reid-Searl says.

This project is just the latest in a range of unique health education tools being championed by CQUniversity.

These health innovations include the world-renowned MASK-ED™ (KRS simulation), an innovative technique using props such as masks, torsos, hands and feet.

A Pup-Ed program uses silicone and cloth procedural puppets to improve communication with children visiting hospital.

And a 'Poop-It Kit' is being created to bolster the diet and lifestyle of Aussie kids, to improve their bowel health.