Singapore

Robot buddies may soon help children with ADHD

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) could have a robot companion to help them with their studies from March.

A robot-cum-mobile application has been developed by a team of three students from the diploma in bioengineering course at Singapore Polytechnic (SP), in collaboration with tech company Neeuro.

It was among 96 final-year projects displayed at the annual SP Engineering Show yesterday.

The robot and app will be paired with the SenzeBand - Neeuro's wearable technology - which tracks the brainwaves of its user via Bluetooth.

The SenzeBand monitors a user's concentration levels during study sessions.

Every 15 minutes, the user is given a rating from one star to five stars. If concentration levels fall below 2.5 stars, it triggers an alarm from the robot to get the user to re-focus.

Users can see how their concentration has improved week on week with the app's stored data.

"ADHD kids have impulsiveness issues, so they might not know what they're doing right. So they'll be like, 'Oh, I'm doing the right thing,' even when they're not," said Mr Denzil Ang, 22, one of the students behind the 10-month-old project.

The new platform will be tested among ADHD children in March. A retail price of $600 has been set.

Another project featured at yesterday's event was the RSP-50 rehabilitation arm brace, a portable device that helps stroke patients to regain motor control in their limbs through stretching and strengthening exercises.

A team of three SP students worked with occupational therapists at St Andrew's Community Hospital to better understand patients' needs.

"Some patients are not very mobile, but still have to travel to places for therapy. This is where our idea for it being home-based came from," said team member Tan Shu Xian, 20.

The arm brace is awaiting approval from the authorities.

Technology