Carilion unveils new robot "Ned", says will make kids less afrai - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Carilion unveils new robot "Ned", says will make kids less afraid of hospital

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ROANOKE, VA - Tuesday, Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital unveiled a new, high-tech toy that it hopes will make kids less afraid when they come to the hospital.

"Ned" is a 4' 11", 70 pound, fully functional robot that can interact with children.  He's programmed to explain to kids why they're sick and what doctors and nurses will be doing to treat them.

Kids can also play games, surf the internet, and video chat on a secure line using Ned.

Doctors say it will be less scary for kids to talk with Ned than it would be with a bunch of adults in white coats.

"Certainly the doctors go out of their way to try to be silly or funny," said Dr. Alice Ackerman, Physician-in-Chief of Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital.  "But sometimes we have to do things to and with the children they may not like.  Ned is never going to do that.  Ned is always going to be safe"

Ned was created by two Virginia Tech engineering students and two doctors with the Pediatric Medical Device Institute.
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