Robots For Good: How robots are helping children with severe illnesses

18th February 2015 Posted by: Ben Matthews

WeVolver helps people collaborate on open source technology, meaning they can do things like taking a 3D-printed robot and using it to do good in the world. Hence the name for their latest project, Robots For Good.

The WeVolver team will be figuring out how they can enhance the lives of children with terminal or severe illnesses, who spend most of their time indoors.

Spending time in hospital can be very stressful for children, sometimes a frightening and lonely place, and distress can affect how children recover from their illness. When there is a sick child in the family, their needs can take a lot of time and attention, and the needs of the other children in the family can get missed.

We can already see some important use cases for this, for children with chronic or terminal illness who spend a lot of time in hospital, for those who are stuck at home indoors due to their condition, for children who spend all their time going back and forth to hospital, to siblings of children with chronic or terminal illness.  

There is also a huge potential with children whose access requirements are so great that they can’t visit places at all.

For example, the Robots For Good team have partnered with Great Ormond Street Hospital, who help over 240,000 young patients every year. They will use a 3D printed robot and a virtual reality headset to take children on a virtual tour of a zoo. With the headset on, children will use the 3D printed robot as a kind of avatar and be able to look around the zoo. Wherever they look, the 3D printing robot will look too.

We will be following the story of Robots For Good over the coming months, including their work with Great Ormond Street.


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