The TIME magazine has listed Armenian Robin the Robot among the 100 best inventions of 2021.
Every year, TIME highlights inventions that are making the world better, smarter and a bit more fun.
This year’s list of 100 groundbreaking inventions—including vaccines for COVID-19 and malaria, an emotional support robot for hospitalized children, an environmentally friendly dye for jeans and a brand new pasta shape, things that are changing how we live, work, play and think about what’s possible.
“When an 8-year-old pneumonia patient at a clinic in Armenia had barely eaten for two days, the medical staff brought a new face into her room: Robin the Robot. After about 20 minutes of discussing favorite animals and playing a game of I Spy, Robin said goodbye, vowing to return only if the patient promised to eat. Sure enough, she dug in,” TIME writes.
With big, googly eyes and a cheerful personality, Robin is an AI-based companion designed to ease anxiety and loneliness among children in hospitals and clinics.
“The goal was to create a technology that’s not just a device—but a peer and friend,” says entrepreneur Karen Khachikyan, Robin’s proud parent.
The robot is like a real-life Pixar character that can recognize a child’s emotions and respond based on stored memory, even explaining medical procedures in a simple way. Robin is being used in 12 facilities worldwide and is set to be deployed in another 100 in the US over the next 12 months.