CLOi offers emotional support

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CLOi offers emotional support

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A child being treated at Seoul National University Children’s Hospital uses LG Electronics’ CLOi robot on Nov. 15. [LG ELECTRONICS]

LG Electronics’ CLOi robots are offering emotional support in the children’s ward at Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH), the company said Monday.

Starting earlier this month, the robots are on a three-month test run to operate in the hospital ward, operating rooms and intensive care unit. A total of 25 CLOi robots are working at the hospital.

LG said the robots will “offer emotional comfort for hospitalized children who are not completely free to wander outdoors and often feel stress having to stay in an unfamiliar space.”

“As a children’s hospital, we’re always on the lookout for methods to reduce anxiety for our patients - we hope LG’s CLOi will help children feel more at ease during their time here,” said Dr. Kim Han-suk, president of Seoul National University Children’s Hospital.

Equipped with a 5-inch LCD display and Naver’s artificial intelligence voice assistant Clova, the CLOi robots sent to the hospital contain entertainment and education content tailored to children. This includes 900 books offered by 70 Korean book publishers. The robot can also play music, games, audio books and videos offered by Naver TV, which has clips of TV shows.

For now, the CLOi robots’ role is limited to emotional support, but LG and SNUH are looking to add more functions that could assist the work of nurses and doctors. Possible options include enabling video calls between the nurse’s office and the ward, offering translations for non-Korean patients and creating videos that help patients’ families understand procedures.

The recent collaboration is the product of a February memorandum of understanding between LG and SNUH to co-develop ways to combine medicine and robotics.

“Our big goal is to find ways robots and humans can co-exist and create a better life. Collaborations like this can contribute to the spread of robots,” said Roh Jin-seo, head of LG Electronics’ Robot Business Center.

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]

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