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TU DelftTU EindhovenUniversity of TwenteWageningen University


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Robots for pain management in children

This project will develop technological solutions that include wearables for measuring physiological signals related to sensation and fear of pain and child-robot interactive behaviors for pain detection and accurate diagnosis. AI algorithms will be used for both pain detection and selecting adequate robot behaviors.
Reducing children’s suffering from pain or fear of pain with non-pharmacological interventions can have many benefits. Pain distraction, self-exploration of pain in movement therapies, and explanation of predicted severity of pain are established as promising methods for managing pain associated with children’s medical procedures.
The project builds on two ongoing collaborations between TU/e-VU on pain and stress detection through physiological measurements and collaboration between TU Eindhoven, Twente University, and Radboud Medical Center on developing child-robot interactions for pain management. The over 10 years TU/e-VU collaboration resulted in developing the “Smart sock”, i.e., a sock with embedded sensors that connects to a mobile application to visualize the pain and stress-related signals, which facilitated two Ph. D. projects. 
The 4TU funding will help develop robust and personalized prototypes, integrated system solutions, and novel child-robot interactions enhanced by combining physiological signals and human expertise in pain detection and management. The project will serve as a steppingstone for further collaboration and future projects between the mentioned universities.