Meet Robin, the robot in the dental treatment room

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Robin the robot has big, inquisitive eyes; loves to play games; and if Karén Khachikyan has his way, will one day be the standard of dental care. Khachikyan sat down with to discuss how Robin and similar artificially intelligent (AI) robots can help put children at ease.

"We are standing at the beginning of the field of social robotics, and it can have a huge impact on the healthcare industry, specifically dentistry," said Khachikyan, the founder and CEO of Expper Technologies, the company behind Robin.

When Khachikyan founded Expper, he set out to revolutionize healthcare through robotics and social AI. The result is Robin, a 7-year-old robot who loves making new friends, playing games, and singing songs.

Karén Khachikyan with Robin the robot. All images courtesy of Expper Technologies.Karén Khachikyan with Robin the robot. All images courtesy of Expper Technologies.

But Robin is more than just a cute face. Robin also educates children about the dental office by showing cartoon animations of dental tools and explaining dental procedures in a child-friendly way.

"Our goal is to change the perception of children about medical treatments," Khachikyan said. "This way, dental treatment is no longer stressful for children."

Expper's strategy appears to be working. Children who interacted with Robin had a 43% reduction in stress and 26% boost in joyfulness, according to data cited by Khachikyan. Robin also reduced preparation time for dental procedures by 40%.

"Kids go to the treatment room with positive emotions, which reduces time," Khachikyan said.

Naturally, children love to play with Robin, and the robot has quickly become a marketing tool for dental practices that use it, Khachikyan said. It's also a safe way to provide distanced, emotional support for children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Watch the video below to see Robin in action and the full interview with Khachikyan.

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