Kansas City,
14:13 PM

KCTV 5: Robots help Children's Mercy patients explore hospital

New technology at Children’s Mercy is giving children a whole new look at life around them.

The idea behind the technology is to allow kids who can’t leave their hospital room the chance to use an iPad and explore the whole building using a robot named Dubs.

When patients have been stuck in a room for a week straight, they need plenty of friends to keep them company.

Third-grader Landon Gray's newest friend is Dubs.

Dubs helps him attend play groups and visit with staff while isolated. The hospital purchased two robots for about $4,000 each. They’re now testing them for patient use within the hospital floors.

"Giving them the opportunity to have control over one of the aspects of their hospitalization is huge ... giving them the opportunity to engage in some normal play and be a kid, again, is huge," child life specialist Jenna Simpson said.

But the benefits go beyond that. The robots are also used for Telemedicine, saving patients that may be hours away from Kansas City the need to make a trip.

"It is just so easy to use and so simple and that’s what has impressed me about it," said John Baker, senior analyst of Telemedicine.

Now both patients and staff are seeing countless new opportunities to use these in the future.

The hope is to eventually get more of the robots and to not only take kids around the hospital but even outside the building to explore other areas of Kansas City.


View the story via KCTV 5.

Learn more about the Child Life Department at Children's Mercy.

Learn more about how telemedicine is used at Children's Mercy.