29 February 2024

“The benefits are beyond our expectations”

A school assembly

Last year, the manufacturers of the small remote-controlled AV1 desktop robots that we use for our BubbleBusters project asked if we would be able to help a child in a Scottish primary school. The pupil was receiving chemotherapy treatment and would be off school for at least a year, missing out on lessons and vital social contact.

The school and family wanted to ensure that his education and participation in social activities could continue, so we were only too happy to help. We organised the loan of an AV1 along with a special backpack that the class could use to move the robot safely around the school. Six months later the school’s headteacher gave this wonderful feedback:

“The benefits are beyond our expectations. In terms of socialising, the telepresence robot helps enormously but there’s an additional outcome we didn’t predict. Children are showing compassion and love to their classmate via the AV1. Children want to carry the backpack, check the robot has good view and speak with their classmate through the robot while things are going on. It means that close bonds are being formed despite the fact that the pupil can’t yet attend the school in person.”

The physical form of the little BubbleBuster robots really allow the child’s personality to shine through, and it’s fantastic that classmate relationships are blossoming as a result. The project is so much more than just giving out robots, it’s about giving an isolated child the peace of mind that they’re not being forgotten, and enabling them to continue to develop friendships – both in and out of the classroom.

More about our BubbleBusters Project

Our BubbleBusters project is an initiative that tackles the isolation of young people who can’t go to school because of a high infection risk due to their severely weakened immune system. As well as falling behind with schoolwork, many are concerned about missing out on vital ongoing quality time with their friends.

Our team link the family and the school to introduce the project. An AV1 desktop robot produced by the company No Isolation takes their place in the classroom and playground, and through it they are able to hear, see and speak to their friends and teacher from their home or hospital bed using an ultra-secure connection on a mobile phone or tablet.