Externalising moods and psychological states in a cloud based system to enhance a pet-robot and child's interaction

Ferran Larriba, Cristóbal Raya, Cecilio Angulo, Jordi Albo-Canals, Marta Díaz, Roger Boldú
2016 BioMedical Engineering OnLine  
Therapeutic robots that work to diagnose, rehabilitate, and assist in surgery, are all designed to motivate and assist patients with psychological conditions. Robo-therapy consists of the interaction between patients and robotic creatures in order to help patients build a positive attitude towards fighting a disease [1] . Since pet robots are mainly considered in this study, focus is spent on robots that can be categorized with similar therapeutic effects as in animal-assisted therapy [2].
more » ... act Background: This PATRICIA research project is about using pet robots to reduce pain and anxiety in hospitalized children. The study began 2 years ago and it is believed that the advances made in this project are significant. Patients, parents, nurses, psychologists, and engineers have adopted the Pleo robot, a baby dinosaur robotic pet, which works in different ways to assist children during hospitalization. Methods: Focus is spent on creating a wireless communication system with the Pleo in order to help the coordinator, who conducts therapy with the child, monitor, understand, and control Pleo's behavior at any moment. This article reports how this technological function is being developed and tested. Results: Wireless communication between the Pleo and an Android device is achieved. The developed Android app allows the user to obtain any state of the robot without stopping its interaction with the patient. Moreover, information is sent to a cloud, so that robot moods, states and interactions can be shared among different robots. Conclusions: Pleo attachment was successful for more than 1 month, working with children in therapy, which makes the investment capable of positive therapeutic possibilities. This technical improvement in the Pleo addresses two key issues in social robotics: needing an enhanced response to maintain the attention and engagement of the child, and using the system as a platform to collect the states of the child's progress for clinical purposes.
doi:10.1186/s12938-016-0180-3 pmid:27454772 pmcid:PMC4959366 fatcat:vr65rcw7s5ea7lqtgnkj3xdhlu