A robot is being developed to mimic a diabetic toddler to help children recognize symptoms of the condition. Robin, short for “Robot Infant” is being developed at the University of Hertfordshire and can speak words. Developers said it was aimed at children aged 7-12 to help youngsters learning to manage diabetes. Diabetes UK said it had “been watching the development of Robin with great interest”.
Dr Lola Canamero and Dr Matthew Lewis designed and wrote the £5,800 robot’s character. Robin behaves like a toddler, he wanders around to look at pictures and toys, he plays, dances when he is bored, gets tired and asks for hugs. These traits enable children to relate to Robin, which the developers say is crucial to them in remembering how to treat their condition.
The project, which began in Italy under a 142,000 euro grant as part of the ALIZ-E program, has received £11,000 from the university to continue its work with support from the School of Computer Science.