Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center donates Kids Interactive Creation Kiosk to Madeira
Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) donated two K.I.C.K.'s - Kids Interactive Creation Kiosks - to the Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute of the Universidade da Madeira. One is installed at the Hospital Dr. Nélio Mendonça, in Funchal, and the other is at the Universidade da Madeira for the Master in Entertainment Technology (MET). The official ceremony for the hospital was held on October 12, 2011, to acknowledge the donation and installation of the K.I.C.K. in the children’s emergency room of the hospital.
The K.I.C.K. was developed by a team of ETC students working with the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in 2006. Known as Team ER, the team of 3 students created an original touchscreen and software suite to engage children and their parents in a creative way while they waited to be seen by a doctor. Their goal was to create an experience that would alleviate the stress and anxiety produced when visiting the emergency room. The project outcome proved so successful that upon graduation, the team created Electric Owl Studios, a start-up company and an ETC’s spin-off.
Michelle Macau, ETC Visiting Faculty at the Universidade da Madeira, during the official ceremony gave a demonstration of the various content on the K.I.C.K. and expressed ETC’s desire to share the interactive kiosk with the hospital thereby establishing a link between ETC/MET/MiTi/UMa and the community of Madeira.
Francisco Jardim Ramos, from the Madeira regional government, thanked the ETC for the donation saying that this gift will reduce the suffering and anxiety that children experience during the waiting period in the pediatrics ER room. The Regional Minister said that thanks to the interactive experiences, the young patients will be able to forget for a while about the reason that lead them to the hospital. He also emphasized the great effort that the hospital staff applies to provide solutions for the children's health problems.
UMa's Rector, Castanheira da Costa, also spoke saying that he was quite happy with the quality of the regional health service and with their openness to new solutions such as this one. He mentioned that this equipment is part of an international partnership that started a few years ago with top-renowned Carnegie-Mellon University, which has been quite fruitful for both the University and the Region.
Michelle Macau also played a short video sent by Electric Owl’s Phil Light, who expressed their regret for not being able to attend the ceremony. He thanked the hospital and said what an honor and privilege it was to have K.I.C.K. in their waiting room supporting the children and parents who of necessity would be visiting there.
Mother & Child play
with K.I.C.K. at the hospital
while waiting to be seen by a doctor.
Other guests included Pedro Campos, Vice-President of M-ITI's Board, Monchu Chen, director of MET at MiTi, and Dulce Pacheco, project manager at MiTi, several doctors and nurses of the Pediatric Services, and various members of the local press.
The other K.I.C.K. will stay at MiTi where MET students (Alexander Goldman, Duarte Teixeira, Mara Dionísio, Po-an Shen, Venkata Kushal, Wein Chang) will use it as a development platform to create unique animation, games, puzzles, and other interactive content.
Article Written by Michelle Macau
Photos by António Pedro Dias Gomes