Astri N.

My adventure with Aldebaran’s robots: Kindercity and Av@tar Kids

More than 5 000 NAOs are used through the world. But to do what?

Today, I propose to present you what our robots are used for, in which projects they are involved: social, care, arts…

Robotics to serve children.

And we start our travel with Zurich (Switzerland), where Sandrine and Jean-Christophe Gostanian have created in 2004 a place where children can discover sciences and technologies. Kindercity is open to children from 3 years old and let them explore, interact and ‘playfully discover science’.

They have 10 NAOs in their robotics section. Besides presenting the robots’ skills, they have made the “Technolino Lab” where young apprentices come during their training to learn how to program and apply what they have learned on the robots.

In that way, they can develop applications and behaviors and make animations and presentations for the children. It’s an opportunity to experience on real projects and to pass what they have learned to the youngest. Kindercity encourages this knowledge transmission between generations which is completely in line with their philosophy.

But this was not enough for the Gostanians who have decided to launch another project named “Avatar Kids”, in partnership with Samsung and Swisscom.

Help kids stay social during their illness.

Avatar kids: NAO in the classroom

Avatar Kids allows sick children from 4 to 18 years old to stay connected to their class during their illness.

Thanks to a tablet, the child can pilot a NAO robot which stays in the classroom. He can follow lessons and do exercises in the same time than his friends, interacts and above all, stays connected socially.

Indeed, when children are suffering from diseases that prevent them from socializing with family and friends for a long time, they might feel depressed and lose their social skills.

With Avatar Kids, the child can see what is happening in class and interacts in a kind of videoconference mode or through the robot. Indeed, he can make the robot raise the hand, and when he moves its tablet, the robot moves its head.

When the child is so sick that he doesn't want to appear on the screen he can select a smiley face expressing how he feels today.

In the same way, he can enter sentences on the tablet to make the robot speaks for him.

For exercices, the teacher takes a picture of the exercice sheet and the kid will see it on his tablet and will be able to complete it. The teacher will see directly what the pupil is doing.

As the robot is well integrated in class and is kind of “very cool buddy”, the child is not diminished by the illness but can feel proud to lead the robot.

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