Oscar, a humanoid robot, is used in pediatrics at the Médipôle de Lyon-Villeurbanne to reassure children before and after surgery.
Designed to identify emotions on human faces, it interacts with the child to alleviate the anxiety-provoking aspect of the hospital.
Its playful and amusing scope at the same time lightens the work of the healthcare team, who are thinking of developing their abilities.
His big eyes and his smile may be plastic, impossible to resist him.
The Oscar robot is the new "recruit" of the Médipôle de Lyon-Villeurbanne, the largest private hospital center in France.
Dozens of children go there every week to undergo routine operations (fitting diabolos, adenoids, etc.), which are no less anxiety-provoking for them.
From now on, Oscar is there to welcome them, reassure them, until they leave.
This humanoid robot is indeed designed to identify human emotions on faces, and respond to them with kindness.
The children are crazy about it: the personnel of the Médipôle too.
A patron from Lyon at the origin of the project
Oscar was financed by Christophe Coquerel, CEO of the property development company Oscar Développement.
“He contacted us one day to offer us, in his words, a bubble of happiness for hospitalized children,” explains Xavier Claris, director of the Médipôle.
“While thinking about an innovative, unique way to accompany children in the operating room, we thought of the humanoid robot Pepper (created in 2014 by SoftBank Robotics, editor's note), and Mr. Coquerel followed us.
Two years of design later, Oscar is ready for use.
Marilyne Valette, project coordinator, presents it to us.
We shake the articulated hand.
“Oscar is programmed to welcome the child as soon as he arrives,” she explains.
“He talks with him for a while, and shows him the course he will follow in the establishment, with a short film shown on his tablet.
“A small camera allows the robot to follow the child:” He then takes him to his room, where he offers little games, stories.
Then he accompanies her to the entrance to the operating room.
» After the operation and the passage in the recovery room, the young patient can see Oscar again, the time for a photo and a delivery of « diploma of bravery ».
Children, parents and caregivers won over by the Oscar effect
"In the midst of the gigantism of the Médipôle, we need projects like this, which refocus us on the quality of patient reception", rejoices Dr Tramoni, anesthesiologist.
“A child should above all not have bad memories of his stay here.
Oscar is stunning, he provides us with a bubble of air too!
Thanks to the robot, waiting times pass more quickly, and the ambulatory process becomes more efficient.
"The administrative check-in at the start is a time when you have to be precise and when the children are disruptive," adds the doctor.
“Now, they are having fun with the robot, and everyone can concentrate.
We are betting that in the recovery room, the children will first ask where their mother is, and then where Oscar is…”
The feedback from the families proves her right: "A mother told us that her daughter had cried a little during a technical gesture, but not at all during the preoperative course, nor at the time of the separation with her parents: for that, the goal has been achieved,” says Xavier Claris.
The team wants to further develop Oscar's capabilities, while waiting for the possibility of duplicating it for other patients, other therapeutic uses.
With its good round face and expressive gestures, this robot is nothing like a placebo.
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