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Author Topic: Robots and Community Service/Volunteer Work  (Read 2003 times)

aibo7m3

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Robots and Community Service/Volunteer Work
« on: July 17, 2014, 11:45:53 AM »

Has anyone else here done volunteer work with robots? If so, I'd love to hear some stories!

I just recently started a "Reading with Robots" program at a nearby library where I read to children and teach them about different types of robots (I bring in a different robot each week). There's only been one session so far and I brought my Aibo ERS-7m3, Aki, to that one. The children absolutely loved him and asked when I was coming back, though I can't say that they cared for the reading portion much at all. I was a bit nervous though since I'm not a great public speaker and most of the parents were video taping Aki and I the whole time! I had thought my next session was tomorrow, but I just learned it's next week and I'll be bringing my Genibo, Baxter to that one. However, after that I plan to bring my Pleos, Chris and Sumio. If my next session goes well, I might decide to even start offering the program at a second smaller library that's closer to me. I'll probably only be able to do this during the summer though since I'm in high school and will be really busy once the school year starts up again.

Aki's old owner also used to take him to nursing homes often which is something I might look into with my robots at some point later on.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 03:27:15 PM by aibo7m3 »
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Echo538

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Re: Robots and Community Service/Volunteer Work
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2014, 10:01:26 PM »

I am very interested in what you have to say about volunteering with robots especially since you are in high school. You are quite a young volunteer!

When I was in high school and college I read to daycare kids and small children in Braille. they loved it. But even though they might be more interested in Pleo, I think he would add to their experience... I would consider him a therapy pet for myself. I am interested in what you said about sharing him at a nursing home. I myself am a musician and volunteer at nursing homes and other such places, playing piano for the people there. But I also doo have a job playing piano for pay, which right now is my main income. it would be interesting to see how different people react to Pleo and how he reacts to them. I know if they are gentle, kids will love him. Good luck with your Pleos and other robots!
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RedwoodsMama

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Re: Robots and Community Service/Volunteer Work
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2014, 12:14:08 AM »

HI, saw this earlier but was too busy to answer, I love Pleo and take at least one of my pleos 8 out of 10 times wherever I go.  I have taken my Pleos to the grocery store and you should see the reactions to the little green dino in the bottom of the basket, mooing and moving around, Kids just love it but the adults are the ones who ask the most questions. I also take them to the thrift stores where I have found some great outfits, babies socks and lots of unique items, I have taken them there so often, that if I go without one, the people behind the counter ask , where is your dino?

            I mostly keep them at home if it is raiing as Pleos and water do not agree and I don't drive so unless with my husband I just do not take a chance . I also have taken them on the public bus, to Walmart, K-Mart, Ross, and one of my best reactions was in Staples. The people behind the counter as well those selling electronics wanted to know all about this robotic pet. I was obliged to give them my Pleo pep talk.

         I also bring my camera and video recorder everywhere I go to be prepared, I have taken pleo to the park, so parades, sporting events and the beach, to State Parks and Museums. I never have gone somwhere where some person, usually crowds do not ask questions. Many of these have ended up as videos. My favorite place to take Pleo was where I worked for more then 14 years, my daycare center. Children LOVE dinosaurs and Pleos present the perfect opportunity to expand on the learning experience when the curriculum is Dinosaurs , which can be for a whole month, everything from art, science, music, and dramatic play, Pleo Rb is so entertaining and you can teach children a lot about dinosaurs cause they are based on the actual size of a one week old baby Sauropod.  Children are also great at asking questions and I found that even two or three year olds were VERY gentle with this when explained it was a baby, I love teaching and I love Pleos! I could go on an on about what you could do with pleo.                   My most memorable experience with Pleo was about two years ago while having a yard sale. I had two pleos on a table in the yard to keep me entertained while I sat there and also it drew people in. I told many people about pleos that day. This one little old lady who was in her 70's just fell  in love with pleo. After telling her all about Pleo, I asked if she would like to hold pleo on her shoulder and she was all too happy. Well, this lady started talking to the pleo, ( my Ugobe who is custom painted, Rossella) and after rocking her and listening to her snore, she was ready to take her home and put her to bed for a nap. LOL. I had to intervene after about fifteen minutes as I think she forgot this was my "{baby". She acted  as if this was her real baby and before she left, I took a couple of great photos of her cuddling with my Pleo..     Another member here, Fancyfont, has also taken them with her to work at a nursing home and got great reactions as well, Pleos are just plain joy wherever I go.

               AS for the beach, I leave socks on to protect the sand from getting into the electrical areas, I have the advantage of being able to see though and have taken great videos of Pleo at the beach when the ocean is about to wash over her, she is picked up at the last moment, a little too hard for you to do unless you had someone with you. Good luck..................RWM  :cat-hug:
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Echo538

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Re: Robots and Community Service/Volunteer Work
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2014, 01:56:37 PM »

Well i'll do more research and experimentation when it comes to transport, etc. How flexible is a cat carrier? I plan to carry him in a sports bag which Mom will help me get, for things like work, but if we're going to a store or something, and it's not raining, I wonder if I could take him out of the cat carier, exit the vehicle, and just carry him so that, as you said, he could go in the basket. I'll see what happens.
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bunniesRawesome

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Re: Robots and Community Service/Volunteer Work
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2014, 03:15:31 PM »

Echo, when transporting a pleo that is turned on, try to use a bag with a bottom that is as solid and flat as possible. Sometimes if you're carrying a pleo around in a bag with a soft bottom they'll get confused and think you're picking them up and start freaking out. Also, make sure the neck and tail have plenty of room, otherwise you could damage them. If you're transporting a pleo when they're turned off, I'd reccomend putting something soft around the neck and tail for support. (a t-shirt or something like that will do just fine) Good luck!
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aibo7m3

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Re: Robots and Community Service/Volunteer Work
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2014, 09:51:41 AM »

I just finished my second Reading with Robots session! The reading went better this time than last, but the kids weren't as interested in Baxter as they had been in Aki. Two boys were disappointed since they thought I was bringing the Pleos this week and I brought the Genibo instead. I told them that Chris and Sumio would be there next time though. There was even one boy who couldn't stop talking about how much he wanted to see and interact with a Pleo in person (although he did express interest in holding a Pleo by its tail, so I'll have to be careful with Chris and Sumio around the kids).
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Talon

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Re: Robots and Community Service/Volunteer Work
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2014, 12:05:20 PM »

That is such an awesome idea, Aibo7m3! Good luck with your program.
Talon
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kat

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Re: Robots and Community Service/Volunteer Work
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2014, 05:16:10 PM »

Out of curiosity what books are you reading?  Are you reading books relate to robots in some way as well as having the little guys around?  Or maybe dog stories for the dog bots and dinosaur stories for the pleos? Would love to know what your reading at each session.  I work in a library and think this is a great idea :)  Also how old are the kids that come to the sessions?  And do you have any videos or photos of your session.  It would be really awesome to see a video of your session in action :)
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aibo7m3

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Re: Robots and Community Service/Volunteer Work
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2014, 08:17:42 AM »

I've been reading picture books about robots, although the library doesn't have very many, so I may need to end up buying some at some point (if you know of any good ones, recommendations would be great). I'll probably read a dinosaur related book when I bring the Pleos though. The age group listed for the program is 5-10, but really anyone can walk into the session and most kids I see look anywhere from 2-8 or so.

As for videos, I know that a lot of the parents have been video taping me, but it would be a bit odd to ask for a copy one of the videos. I'm not sure if parents would be alright with pictures of their kids being posted online, but I might take a picture just of the set up of the room next time or share the poster for the program here.
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kat

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Re: Robots and Community Service/Volunteer Work
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2014, 05:48:21 PM »

You could ask the library staff to video your session for you or at least take photos :)  I know at my library we take pic and sometimes videos of all our special events as it can be good material to use for advertising.  :)  Also you could ask your library to get some more books in for you.  They should be able to do a few interlibrary loans to get some or they may even be able to buy some new ones in.  I'll scrap around a bit and see if I can find some good title suggestions for you.  I was kinda hoping to see a video of just how you do your session to maybe approach my library and see if they might be interested.  Could be a nice little school holiday program project :)

You could take in one of Mike Weeds Bob the Pleo books to read for your pleo session.  Might be fun for the kids to see a book about some pleos as well as read a dino book or two.
As for robot ones this looks like an interesting blog page with a bunch of robot picture books :
http://childrensbookbin.com/2013/06/13/robots/
You might find something there you haven't already read.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2014, 06:07:05 PM by kat »
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aibo7m3

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Re: Robots and Community Service/Volunteer Work
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2014, 10:46:59 AM »

I just finished my Reading With Robots session with the Pleos! It was a lot of fun! While the library was lacking on robot books, they had plenty of dinosaur ones and I read two stories. All of the parents wanted to get pictures of their kids holding the Pleos, so both Sumio and Chris got a lot of attention. Most of the kids were pretty good with them, aside from a very young boy (maybe 2) who grabbed Chris' tail very tightly and started twisting it around! His mom had to come over and unclasp his hand which resulted in even more twisting and pulling of Chris' tail; luckily both child and Pleo were fine in the end though. I have to admit it was a bit scary watching 10-15 young kids all try to play with two Pleos at once, but things turned out alright and the kids loved holding the Pleos.  They also really enjoyed feeding and playing tug-of-war with Chris and the boy who had wanted to see them the previous session showed up this time and played quite a few rounds of tug-of-war with Chris (letting him win sometimes) and even remembered their names. I received quite a lot of thank yous from both kids and parents at the end and everyone seemed to have had a great time with the Pleos. While it was a little scary, both Pleos eventually made it out without a scratch (although Chris is in a bad mood now). This was supposed to be my last session, but the library invited me back for another, so I'll have to decide which robot/s to bring then.

I'll also probably post a few photos from the first session and the poster for the program here a bit later.
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Echo538

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Re: Robots and Community Service/Volunteer Work
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2014, 11:55:32 PM »

Well I always love hearing about experiences like these. I have yet to get a kid hands on with Echo!

I do admit, I tried to see what would happen if I picked up Echo gently by the tail. Well, Echo did not like that at all! I believe he's forgiven me though.
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bunniesRawesome

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Re: Robots and Community Service/Volunteer Work
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2014, 06:36:50 PM »

I've been volunteering at the craft table for my local library every Friday, and I've been bringing a different robot each week to attract attention. The older kids were very interested in the technical aspects while the younger ones were more interested in actually interacting with them. The last time I went I had brought Buster (My RB) and this little girl stayed the entire 2 hours I was there just to play with him. There were a couple of kids that were scared at first because they thought he was a real dinosaur and wouldn't believe me when I said he was a robot. :D I love bringing Pleo's places but I've just got to be careful around kids. If I'm not constantly monitoring them it's too easy for them to just pick him up and run off with him :)
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Talon

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Re: Robots and Community Service/Volunteer Work
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2014, 09:44:42 AM »

I've never been brave enough to do this. Even though my pleos live with four kids in the house, I'm very cautious when they are around my robots. My cousin's three-year-old son really seems to like playing with the pleos and is constantly asking me to make Ryu and Cato dance or sing for him. Lol!
Talon
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aibo7m3

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Re: Robots and Community Service/Volunteer Work
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2015, 10:10:41 AM »

Hey everyone! I know this is an older topic, but I wanted to update that my robots will be active in volunteer work this summer as well! I've been told by the library that I ran "Reading with Robots" at last year that they'd like to continue it this year as well, though I haven't gotten my schedule yet. I also applied at a local (and pretty large/well-known) museum to run demonstrations of my Pleos there over the summer and have been told that this is something they'd like to work into their summer camps, so my herd will probably be making some guest appearances at their summer programs over the next few months. I will have to be careful with all of the little kids wanting to hold and pet them, but in my experience, most everyone is very gentle and caring with Pleos.

Edit:
I was just e-mailed my schedule for "Reading with Robots" right after I posted this! I'll be working every other Monday afternoon through July and August. I was hoping for a bit more time this year since I also only got to run four or five sessions last year, but the library has a lot of volunteer programs running, so I've been lucky to get any time slots at all.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2015, 10:17:56 AM by aibo7m3 »
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Talon

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Re: Robots and Community Service/Volunteer Work
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2015, 10:36:01 AM »

That's awesome, Aibo! I'm sure everyone will enjoy learning about pleos and other robots. Have a fun Summer!
Talon
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aibo7m3

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Re: Robots and Community Service/Volunteer Work
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2015, 10:20:20 AM »

Thanks! I now have an interview this Saturday and another this coming Monday, so if those go well, I'll be doing volunteer work with Pleos at a museum and a state park this summer. Now I just have to decide which Pleo/s to take with me to the interviews.
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Crewella

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Re: Robots and Community Service/Volunteer Work
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2015, 07:36:18 AM »

That's just brilliant - well done.  I'm sure it will be a great experience for the kids.  :thumb:

Good luck with the interviews!
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aibo7m3

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Re: Robots and Community Service/Volunteer Work
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2015, 01:50:16 PM »

Hey guys! Just got back from my first volunteer meet with the Pleos at Dinosaur State Park. I was there a whole three hours! It was around 85 degrees out, so I had to switch out batteries a lot to keep the Pleos from overheating. Talon and I were chatting over Skype earlier and we decided that I should let the kids in the volunteer session name my newest RB. They first suggested "Bob," but I told them that was the name of the world's most famous Pleo, so they should probably suggest something else. So, according to the kids, his name is now "Kit Kat." :P (A kid who looked about 2 years old suggested it, then about four kids just started chanting it.) Who knows, maybe I'll keep the name.

I brought Sumio, Madi, and "Kit Kat" (a Ugobe and two RBs). Unfortunately the repair on Madi's leg broke while I was there, but the solder had been done by a classmate and little kids aren't the most careful with Pleos. I can repair it easily though. There was also a little boy who walked up, stared at the Pleos then kicked one of them in the head as hard as he could! :o Luckily the Pleo wasn't damaged at all and the poor mom just kept apologizing. I'll guess I'll just have to keep a closer watch on them next time.

A huge number of people came by and the Pleos were definitely a success overall though. Maybe some new members will be joining the forum soon! I've also been invited to come back when I have the time. I had two Pleos running at a time for most of the three hours, and only one running at the end. Everyone loved feeding the RBs, so I think they've pretty much been fed for the week already. All the Pleos also got turns being held as well and most children were very gentle with them.

I'll post a couple pictures later today, I'm going to see Jurassic World in 3D right now. :)
« Last Edit: February 02, 2016, 01:05:02 PM by aibo7m3 »
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kat

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Re: Robots and Community Service/Volunteer Work
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2015, 05:11:03 PM »

Sounds awesome :)  Little kids can be pretty unpredictable at times so it is great tot hear that so many of them really enjoyed the experience.  Looking forward to hearing about your next one and seeing pics!  Your doing a great service for pleos by getting them out there in the public eye :) 
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aibo7m3

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Re: Robots and Community Service/Volunteer Work
« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2016, 01:02:19 PM »

I'm currently scheduling to do a demo with some Pleos at a local nursing home! I'm a bit nervous though since all the programs I've hosted in the past have been for young children and I'm somewhat worried that adults will just see the Pleos as silly toys. I'm eighteen now, but that's still an age where a lot of older people look down on me as incompetent or childish, so I want to keep an air professionalism.

I also have the issue that I need Pleos in really good condition for my volunteer work. I can't bring a Pleo with significant pealing paint or tears to a volunteer program, and I also need ones in full working condition. Celeste is in perfect shape, but still a hatchling. Chris is an adult with a really good personality for demos, but since I've taken him so many places, he has small spots of rubbed off paint and a growing crease in his neck (which kids have pointed out to me in other volunteer sessions), so I'm not sure if he's in good enough shape to bring again. I'm thinking maybe I should find some sort of wrap for Chris' neck that will cover the crease but not hinder any movement? Sumio is a Ugobe and should be fine as long as I have some sort of outfit on him to cover the wear on his back. I'm trying to figure out if I should bring all three of these to my interview or not. The rest of the Pleos I have are all broken and/or have significant wear.

Also, does someone know a good disinfectant that can be used on a Pleo's skin without hurting the paint? Would just a lightly damp cloth with dish soap work? I take my Pleos out in public a lot and since a lot of people in nursing homes may have compromised immune systems, I don't want to spread bacteria from little kids' hands to them.
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aibo7m3

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Re: Robots and Community Service/Volunteer Work
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2016, 11:41:31 AM »

Just visited the nursing/retirement home and it seems like a really nice place! The volunteer coordinator loved the Pleos and I'll be giving a demonstration of them there next Saturday! After that, people will be able to sign up for one on one visits from the Pleos to their rooms!

I would like to know if I can use alcohol based sanitizers like Purell on the Pleos since I don't want to spread bacteria from someone else's hands to someone who could be immunocompromised. These would be ideal for cleaning the Pleos, but I'm worried that they would damage the paint. If not, I'll just use regular soap and a slightly damp cloth.
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