Robin the Robot Helps Sick Children Feel Less Lonely

We all got a first-hand look at isolation during the initial lockdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and as common as those feelings of loneliness were, being immobilized due to poor health can make that look like a vacation. Now, children who are hospitalized can interact with a friendly robot named Robin. The AI-powered robot’s plastic body and rectangular head may not put you in mind of a human buddy, but its conversational skills and face screen containing two giant eyes and expressive brows are compelling enough to help hospitalized children forget their loneliness for a little while. Robin can recognize facial expressions and use the context of a conversation to build personalized, natural interactions and dialogue with lonely children who can’t play with their friends or engage in their normal activities because they're stuck in a hospital bed. Robin also plays games, tells stories, and engages children in various activities that distract them from the stress and pain that go along with hospitalization.