A Therapeutic Robot Teddy Bear Will Play With Kids in the Hospital

From Gizmodo:

Here’s Huggable—Teddy Ruxpin for the new millennium. It’s a talking blue teddy bot designed to care for and comfort hospitalized children.

The New York Times reported today it’s currently being used in a study that gathers kids’ physiological responses to various stress-alleviating stimuli to determine whether Huggable offers ill children therapeutic benefits or not. Eventually, that data will be integrated in the robo-bear to make it automated and able to respond to kids’ various needs.

Right now, the bear is more of a “high-tech puppet,” the Times writes. An adult down the hall controls the bear, serving as its voice, shooting the breeze with the young patient. The robot’s a collaboration between MIT’s Media Lab and Boston Children’s Hospital, which has invested half a million bucks to research social robots.

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