A project that aims to reintegrate and support children with additional needs back into school has been awarded a grant of over £500,000.
The grant will allow the company, No Isolation, to pair 90 school pupils with robots, to explore how technology can help children with physical and mental illnesses.
According to No Isolation, 72,000 children in the UK are missing out on their childhood due to a longterm illness, meaning that one in every six classrooms has an empty desk.
The AV1 robot acts as a child’s eyes, ears, voice and raised hand, from within the classroom. It can sit at the child’s desk, while the pupil controls it remotely, from home or hospital, through an app.
This allows the child to join in with classroom discussions, and ensures they can maintain a sense of normalcy, missing as little school as they need to.
Through the AV1 app, the pupil can see the classroom via the camera on the AV1 robot.
The robot can be used to answer questions during a discussion, speak to classmates and allow the student to take part in class life, despite not physically being there.
There is also an app available for parents, guardians and even teachers who have children that require to be absent from class due to a long-term illness or disability.
The AV1 Assistant App allows teachers to administer one or several robots for their pupils, check status, and look up resources.
The first batch of robots have been rolled out to Great Ormond Street Hospital School, Manchester Hospital School and Leicester Hospital School.
It is hoped that they will minimise the impact school absences can have on friendships, mental wellbeing and the future of the child.
For more information about the AV1 robot, click here.