Journal of IiMER participate in the classroom on their own terms. The robot, called AV1, acts as the students’ eyes, ears and voice in the classroom on days where they cannot be physically present. The student is in control The student controls the robot with an app on a tablet. When the student raises their hand, a light flashes on AV1’s head. The robot can be turned 360 degrees, so the student can see the entire classroom and talk to other students. If the student does not feel like actively participating, they communicate it by turning on a blue light on AV1’s head. AV1 is designed to withstand Childs play, and can join classmates in the playground or on after school visits. AV1 is already helping ME-patients Today, more than 170 children and youths are using AV1 in Norway. Children and youths suffering from ME is the largest user group. Research fellow Jorun Børsting and senior lecturer Alma Leora Culén at the Institute for Informatics, University of Oslo, are researching the technology needs of ME-patients. They have studied the use of AV1 among nine children and youths suffering from ME. They see a big advantage in the fact that the robot is designed with ME-patients in mind. – The advantage in participating in class through a tablet is that they have full control over sound levels, light and movement. In a normal classroom they do not have the option to control sensory inputs in this way. Furthermore, they can participate exactly when they feel like it, taking into account that symptoms can fluctuate over the course of the illness, even from hour to hour, Børsting comments. Børsting stresses that the robot cannot fully replace normal attendance at school or home teaching, but act as a supplement. – Of the children I followed several had not attended school in a long time when they first received the robot. Some had been out of school for over six months. After they received AV1, all of them participated regularly, on their own terms. The robot, which has been in use in Norway since autumn 2016, is now available in the rest of Europe. This little helper, which is already underway to children in the UK, can be ordered from No Isolation, at www.noisolation.com www.investinme.org Page 33 of 82

34 Publizr Home

You need flash player to view this online publication