When Anne Fi Troye’s daughter was diagnosed with cancer, it wasn’t only the family’s life that was turned upside down but also the child’s social life. With so much time spent in hospital or confined at home came an additional risk of being gradually alienated from her school comrades. And her case wasn’t unique: all over the world children are affected by illnesses preventing them from taking part in everyday events, resulting in growing isolation. This gave Karen Dolva, CEO of No Isolation, an idea: why not develop an avatar who could attend school in place of Anne’s daughter, while being connected to her?
AV1, the robotic avatar was born. It was designed to represent the child during school classes, field trips or birthday parties, therefore enabling remote participation in everyday life.
But in order to work AV1 needs to be connected to the 4G mobile network, as it is the ability to participate in everyday life that allows a child to feel included. No Isolation, the Norwegian connected healthcare start‑up that invented AV1, therefore partnered up with u‑blox. “We are using cellular/LTE technology to bridge a gap in today’s healthcare systems and help tackle the loneliness and social isolation that children experience during long periods of illness,” explains Karen Dolva.
Thanks to u‑blox TOBY‑L200 4G modules, AV1 can transmit audio and video from anywhere, so that the child’s parents, teachers and friends won’t need to think about connecting AV1 to Wi‑Fi. The avatar’s 4G connection is automatic and is also within the child’s control. Equipped with a camera, a microphone and speakers, the avatar streams live video to the child’s phone or tablet, allowing them to see and hear the avatar’s surroundings in real‑time, as well as talk with an ordinary voice and decide what direction the robot is looking.
u‑box has already donated 500 modules and will continue supporting the project.
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