LOS ANGELES - There's a new employee at UCLA's Mattel Children's Hospital.
Robin helps emotionally support kids undergoing treatment. But Robin isn't human, it's a robot created by scientists in Armenia.
UCLA is the first hospital in the country to acquire a Robin.
Robin knows exactly what a kid wants. If you're scared of hospitals, robin is there. If you're lonely, robin is there.
Plus it helps that it looks like Pixar's Wall- E!
Instead of talking to an adult dressed up in a white coat, pediatric patients at UCLA's Mattel children's hospital interact with Robin.
UCLA pediatric surgeons, Dr. Justin Wagner and Dr. Shant Shekherdimian know first hand how much Robin helps their little patients.
"Our kids only get one parent at a time and can be with them so its a stressful situation," says Dr. Wagner.
And because of COVID-19, patients can't interact with each other, so robin is the next best thing.
And it's working. A nine-week study of 200 children that used Robin reported a 26% increase of joy, and a 34% reduction of stress. And they weren't the only ones.
"Not only among the kiddos and patients staff members and families feel less stress and more joy," says Dr. Shekherdimian.
Robin smiles, winks, and displays videos and music on its screen. It recognizes a child’s emotions by analyzing facial expressions and then responding to them.