Home Articles Hope (the robot) brings young patients, D-backs players, together

Hope (the robot) brings young patients, D-backs players, together

Photo courtesy of Arizona Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation today launched a new interactive robot that will allow pediatric hospital patients to have virtual visits to Chase Field.

The robot “Hope” is designed to allow young patients who under non-COVID times might interact in person with D-backs players and staff to continue the visits in an engaging virtual format.

“Our players have always enjoyed visiting young patients in the hospital and spending time putting smiles on their faces,” said D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall in a statement. “We have all missed this interaction during the pandemic and this unique approach will help brighten the day of those in uniform and those who are recovering.”

Patients from Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Banner Children’s at Desert will be able to view batting practice and visit with players while virtually touring Chase Field. Children will guide, operate and control the robot while they speak through a screen at the hospital.

The idea came from planning with Phoenix Children’s child life specialists who have been using the robot at the hospital for interactive visits. The high-resolution video and audio provides an experience similar to what many have experienced via Zoom/Microsoft Teams during the pandemic.

Child life specialists work to reduce patient anxiety and support healing. By integrating play, they help children prepare for procedures and develop coping strategies during hospitalization.

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