What You Should Know:
- Students from Stanford University School of Engineering robotics team designed robotic puppies, known as ‘The Pupper Robots,’ that helps calm and distract young pediatric patients during routine and complex procedures at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.
- The University robotics team 3D printed 30 pups to interact and play with kids at the hospital’s family resource center, Story Corner. The effort is part of an interdisciplinary research effort with the Stanford Chariot Program, a pediatric immersive technology program.
Bring Joy and Therapy to Patients at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health
Research has shown there are medical benefits from pet-assisted therapy that include lowering and/or stabilizing blood pressure, reducing pain and anxiety, motivating physical activity, and encouraging communication.
“Seeing these children come down from their patient rooms to interact with these robotic puppies brought all of us immense amount of joy,” said Thomas Caruso, MD, pediatric anesthesiologist and co-director of the CHARIOT Program at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health. “Our pet therapy program is phenomenal, but we only have so many dogs to go around. Our hope is with these robot dogs we may be able to offer a different tool for providers that will have a similar affect with our patients as they do with our pet therapy dog.”