Charitable robot helps sick children visit zoo from their beds

With a mission to bring joy to the lives of bedridden children, Leos the robot livestreams the animals of Poland’s Poznań Zoo and transmits the image to patients in hospitals.

Patients are able to see what the robot sees thanks to a tablet connected to the machine’s eyes.

The originator of the robot and the “Bears in children’s service” (“Misie dzieciom”) programme is Łukasz Bodnarowski of the Don Vittorio Foundation for Wild Animals. Mr Bodnarowski’s son, Borys, is unable to visit the critters himself and so prompted him to design the machine.

“A year ago it turned out that my son has Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Due to the fact that we are a foundation concerned with wild animals, I decided to design a programme that will connect sick children with the animal world via education and the newest technology,” said Mr Bodnarowski.

Leos was named for Lionel Messi, Borys’ favourite football player, and is accompanied on his wanderings through the zoo by a zookeeper. However, Leos is a VIP by default and can take its host to places that are off-limits to ordinary zoo visitors.

The programme is supported by the Dega Orthopedic-Rehabilitation Hospital in Poznań. More robots are expected to go on duty in the future.