TEN Newsletter #8

25th October 2022

Seminars in Odense

On 12th-14th October the network once again gathered for the first seminars. This time we were in Odense, Denmark. The seminars were hosted by our partner Danish Technological Institute with  a very hospitable Steen Ulrichsen. The focus of the first seminars ranged from a day in school using a robot to information from other robot projects and other important input to better understand telepresence technology and the needs of the users etc. 

The Danish Technological Institute 
The institute is a leading robot innovation centre in Europe. The institute has over forty robotic specialists who develop, advise and assist businesses at all stages in their development of new robot technologies with the aim of amongst other things strengthening their competitiveness, improving the quality and compensating for lack of manpower etc. To date over 10,000 customers in 65 countries have benefited from the institute’s services.

We were given an exciting tour of the different labs and we got to see some interesting robotic solutions including robots that can sort out asbestos from industrial waste and drone robots that can fly indoors and discover amongst other things dusty areas in hospitals. 

A day with a robot 
Victor, a twelve year pupil from Denmark gave the network an important presentation on what it is like to use a telepresence robot from a pupil´s perspective.  Victor’s robot experience was very positive and amongst other things Victor gave the network useful feedback on the pros and cons of the robots. 

This was followed by  presentations from Mette Weibel, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen and from Morten Jacobsson, Hillerød municipality in Denmark. 

Mette presented findings from her research regarding how telepresence robots can impact children’s social connectedness to their school during cancer treatment. Mette concluded with the importance of a holistic approach understanding the needs of the child as well as the importance of support and supervision by an adult etc. Morten, who has over twenty years experience within education in Denmark and most recently with special needs  and telepresence robots gave us inspiring examples of the didacts and how technology can be adapted to benefit the user. Morten stressed understanding the individual student’s needs and the significance for planning for their needs etc.  Mette and Morten finished with a workshop to get everyone to understand the necessity of an inclusive learning environment. Of course we were in Denmark so the obvious tool to do this was with Lego!

Cooperation and external input
Our second day  kicked off with input from Rasmus Forsberg, an educational patient guide at the Danish Capital Region. Rasmus spoke about the importance of success in education. He pointed out the challenges in Denmark where many children do not complete their education and are left in limbo.

Maja Nortug from Olso Metropolitan University followed and discussed amongst otherthings the importance of relationships and the child’s social competence when using telepresence solutions.

The Southern Danish University(SDU) presented their work within their own Erasmus plus network with focus on telepresence in Europe. We recognise many of their experiences and findings. 

VIA university in Denmark also presented their Erasmus project and some of their conclusions. These included the fact that children/adolescents with psychiatric illness are becoming the main users of telepresence technology.  They also pointed to the fact that pupils in Denmark are entitled to homeschooling after fifteen days of absence but that only 7% actually receive it. Another interesting fact was input from other European nations where in Belgium there is a national state financed telepresence service, Bednet which is available throughout the country.

No Isolation shared with us the perspective of the industry. The Norwegian start-up who are an important partner within telepresence gave us an insight to their proactive work and stories from customers including Linköping kommun in Sweden who have 25 AV1s and Somerset County Council

Day two finished with a comprehensive presentation of the successful work done at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen regarding school ambassadors for Children who are undergoing cancer treatment. As well as pointing out the significant challenges these children face during their treatment, Hanne Bæckgaard Larsen gave us an in depth description of how the system works and the positive results so far.

Our final day in Odense commenced with yet more important input from the medical perspective from Rigshospitalet.. Rene Mathiasen, MD gave us a thorough account of cancer treatment  for children and the challenges and consequences for all concerned. Barbara Nordhjem guided us through how the hospital does its psychological testing  and Natasha Nybro Petersen spoke about online visits. 

The last presentation of this seminar was from Odense municipality “Verldens Bedste Robotby”. Simon Bo Andersskou,  head of the school department explained how the municipality has the ambition to become the world’s best robot city – also at children’s level. This ambition can only be realized if the municipality is able to create the very best framework for the children in the city to not only become professionally skilled, but also constructively critical and digitally healthy.

Upcoming events 

Seminar on ‘Advisor on Telepresence’, March 20th-24th 2023

Seminar on ‘Telepresence and network future’, September 11th-13th 2023 

If you are interested in participating in the seminar or have any questions you can send a email to nonni.camilla.steinrud@regionh.dk 

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