Young people’s Tech for Good ideas for charities revealed

A robot dog to help autistic children and an app to support people with dementia are among Tech for Good innovations devised by teenagers that are in the running for a top award.

The 40 finalists of this year’s Longitude Explorer Prize, which is run by innovation charity Nesta and Amazon, have been unveiled, with the winners announced in July.

The competition has been running since 2014 and is open to 11-16 year olds to put forward Tech for Good ideas that can be developed for charities to support beneficiaries.

Ideas include a robot dog companion for autistic children, put forward by a team of pupils from Grammar School for Girls. Those using the pet can personalise responses and set it tasks each day to help them.

Another is the development of a robotic sphere to be used in water to remove microplastics. This device, devised by Wimbledon High School, would be able to detect polluted water through sensors and purify it.

Elsewhere, a team of pupils from Isleworth and Syon School are looking to launch an app that helps people with dementia through memory games and timetables. It also has an emergency GPS function.

Other innovations from young people involved include an app to promote health sleeping habits from Churston Ferrers Grammar School.

Meanwhile, pupils at Churston Ferrers Grammar School have devised a wearable device for people living with PTSD that uses sensors and GPS to track and monitor their behaviour. This then monitors friends and family of the risk of dangerous PTSD episodes.

CareerTech Challenge

In March an artificial intelligence powered job coach called Bob won the top prize in Nesta’s CareerTech Challenge. The tool has been developed for the UK y not for profit organisation, Bayes Impact, which uses technology to tackle social issues, and social enterprise ACH, which supports the employment needs of refugees.

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