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Haksh-E: AI-Powered Social Robot to Promote Good Hand Hygiene Practices in Children

April 22, 2022 - 1:00
Haksh-E: AI-Powered Social Robot to Promote Good Hand Hygiene Practices in Children

Handwashing with soap is considered the “most effective vaccine” against numerous diseases. Despite awareness, proper hand hygiene practices are not followed due to a lack of it being a habit. Through our approach, we have created an autonomous AI-enabled social robot that can help instill habit-forming positive handwashing behavior in young children called Haksh-E.

Haksh-E is a social robot designed to encourage young children to maintain proper hand hygiene. The robot was developed with the help of youngsters in a co-design process. Toycathon 2021-22, an inter-ministerial initiative hosted by the Ministry of Education’s Innovation Cell, selected the idea as a national finalist. It was also presented at several national and international conferences. The initial prototype has been developed. An AI model for recognizing handwashing actions was devised. Haksh-E is an embodied social robot.

The name ‘Haksh-E’ is inspired by a combination of two Sanskrit words. ‘Hastha’ (meaning ‘hand’) and ‘Kshalanam’ (meaning ‘cleaning’).

The HaKsh-E robot design team consists of members from diverse backgrounds. Sreejith Sasidharan and Pranav Prabha are researchers at AMMACHI Labs who co-designed HaKsh-E with primary school children from India. They also developed and built a handwashing action recognition system into the robot to determine the quality of handwashing.

Devasena Pasupuleti and Anand M. Das, are M-Tech Robotics & Automation students at Amrita and AMMACHI Labs interns. They worked on a game based interaction between the children and the robot and on acceptance of the robot by the children.

Rajesh Sharma and Gayathri Manikutty are the mentors for the team. Rajesh Sharma is Vice President of Engineering Spire Animation Studio, USA and Gayathri Manikutty is a social innovator and social robotics researcher from AMMACHI Labs.

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