The robots that help children to return to school

The robots that help children to return to school

The TES has recently reported about an East Midlands project which aims to give children, who are ill in hospital, the chance to go back to school. Currently over 72,000 children are missing out on their education due to a long-term illness.

The project has been given £544,143 in funding by the Department for Education.

AV1 is the name of a robot which is given to children in hospital as well as being placed in their classroom, so they can take part and contribute to their lessons.

The scheme currently uses 90 of these robots, which are spread across the UK.

How does AV1 work?

The child controls the robot from an iPad and they can see and hear their teacher as well as their friends. Via the robots turning head, the child will have a 360-degree view of their classroom.

If, for example, the child would like to ask a question, AV1’s head flashes blue to alert their teacher. If they wanted to only talk to the student sitting next to them, AV1 also has a whispering mode!

Why would this help?

The Department for Education is backing this scheme to help ease the process of returning to school after an extended period in hospital. It might also lift their spirits seeing their friends and teachers everyday.

If this is a success, then this project could be rolled-out across the country!

A BBC News article has been written about an example of how AV1 is being used in schools. Please click here if you would like more details.

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