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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 November 2007, 13:00 GMT
Robot teddy to help sick children
The teddy is being designed as a companion for the young and frail, older people

A robot teddy that can interact with its owner and could alert medical staff to changes in a sick child's condition will be tested in the Highlands.

Huggable, which is fitted with sensors, is being developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US.

The project is being supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

HIE said prototypes will be involved in a trial in the region in about three months time.

A local company will soon be selected to further develop it.

Cuddle response

Researchers are working on technology that will allow the teddy to respond to cuddles and recognise its owner as they approach it.

It is being designed as a companion for children and older people.

Among the scientists' hopes is that the teddy will be able to raise the alarm if its owner is in distress.

The project also involves the UHI Millennium Institute.

The first designs were shown to nursery children in Avoch in the Black Isle last year.

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