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Thursday, August 12, 2021

Norwegian Robot Talking Boxes for Hospital Child Interaction

 Assistants in hospitals by using moving robotics.  Saw something similar with eldercare in Japan.

Talking Robot Boxes at Norwegian Hospital a Hit with Sick Kids   By John P. Desmond, AI Trends Editor  

The “Automated Guided Vehicles” at St. Olav’s Hospital in Trondheim, Norway, have personalities. The boxes talk. 

These motorized units, essentially boxes on wheels, are assigned to transport garbage, medical equipment or food from one part of the hospital to another. But because they have to interact with humans, such as by warning them to get out of the way, they have to talk.  

But instead of using a generic Norwegian voice, the hospital robot developers decided to give them a voice that uses the strong, distinctive local dialect, according to an account in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies  

And in so doing, the developers gave the stainless-steel boxes rolling around the hospital to transport goods, a personality. And they made the robots kind of pushy, a little rude. 

Children with illnesses who were being treated in the wards began to play games with them, trying to find and identify them. One parent with a gravely ill child found solace in the robots’ endless, somewhat mindless battles as they unsuccessfully ordered inanimate objects—like walls—to get out of the way. 

In a new study, researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) examined how the robots came to be seen as friendly, animal-like creatures and why that matters.  .... ' 

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