Swinburne University of Technology

NAO Robot used in paediatric rehab at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne.

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     NAO, with nine-year-old Miles, who is currently recovering from a road accident

NAO, with nine-year-old Miles, who is currently recovering from a road accident

A partnership between The Brainary, Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH), the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), and Swinburne University of Technology has seen the introduction of a NAO humanoid robot to assist in paediatric rehabilitation. 

NAO is currently being used to assist children recovering from major illnesses or injuries whereby the robot completes physical exercises alongside the children, demonstrating and explaining correct technique. 

Head of Rehabilitation at RCH and Statewide Medical Director of Victorian Paediatric Rehabilitation Service (VPRS), Dr Adam Scheinberg, advised that children with major illnesses or injuries often require long periods of intensive rehabilitation.

“One, if not the, major challenge is maintaining each child’s engagement with the rehabilitation,” he said.

“NAO helps us motivate children and increase the number of repetitions of their exercises on a daily basis which leads to a faster recovery and less time in hospital".

Swinburne University of Technology has lead the research and development required to program applications based on the requirements of Occupational Therapists working with the children. 

The partnership was initiated by Emeritus Professor Leon Sterling from Swinburne and Director of The Brainary, Hugh Kingsley, and was funded by TAC to help improve the lives of patients with Acquired Brain Injury and/or Spinal Cord Injury.

NAO and Miles working on 'bridge' exercises together. 

NAO and Miles working on 'bridge' exercises together. 

Swinburne partners with The Brainary to deliver robotics workshops

NAO Swinburne

A new partnership will now make it possible for primary and high school students to access NAO, the worlds most widely used humanoid robot for education and research.

Swinburne University of Technology and The Brainary ®, a distributer of educational resources, have teamed up to deliver an interactive robotics workshop for school-aged children from schools across Australia and New Zealand.

The collaboration has enabled workshops to be run at an affordable rate, thus removing the cost barrier for schools to participate.

Swinburne’s Professor Leon Sterling, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Digital Frontiers) and Mr Hugh Kingsley from the Brainary shared a vision to introduce more young people to NAO, which has revolutionary applications for healthcare, rehabilitation and special education.

“During the workshop, students work together in teams using software to develop programming for NAO. Students then get to see their programming come to life on a real NAO robot,” Professor Sterling said.

A key element of the NAO Outreach Program is that it uses a peer-learning model where the program is delivered to the school students by Swinburne students.

 “School students get the opportunity to learn from university students who are at the cutting edge of robotics,” Mr Kingsley said.

“Swinburne students also benefit on a practical level by sharing their knowledge, experience and research with school students,” Mr Kingsley said.

The partnership will bring about new and exciting projects that will make a positive difference to education and health, with practical outcomes.

Dr Therese Keane, senior lecturer in Education at Swinburne was involved in running a NAO workshop over the school holidays last year, seeing first-hand the benefits of school children interacting with advanced digital technology.

“Students were fully engaged in programming and interacting with the robots during the three day school holiday workshop,” Dr Keane said.

 “It was an amazing opportunity for students to work with such technology."

For enquires contact:  Tel: (03) 5298 1176 | Email: nao@thebrainary.com or view the detailed Program Flyer.

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