The partnership will give children in hospital access to The Strong with a child-friendly, fully controllable robot that lets them see, hear, interact and communicate with other guests.
“Play is universal – regardless of health or location – and accessibility is a key part of the museum’s mission and values,” said Steve Dubnik, president and CEO of The Strong.
“The WeGo Foundation understands this and allows children to restore some autonomy, childhood wonder, and a sense of joy,” he added. “We’re thrilled to be able to virtually whisk children away from their hospital rooms for some much-needed play.”
Accessibility at museums
The Strong is the first cultural institution in the region to offer the service, and has purchased a robot that children can manoeuvre remotely across the museums.
The accessibility robot displays the face of the user and the sound of their voice, enabling them to interact with other children and visitors.
“For kids being cared for in the hospital, this ability to virtually embark on real-time journeys, to explore the world and make new friends outside of the hospital environment, means everything,” said Hayden Dux, director of development for WeGo.
“It truly helps these kids feel like kids again. We are very excited to be partnering with The Strong and bringing this renowned experience to the bedside for patients.”
WeGo Foundation robot
The WeGo Foundation works currently with 13 hospitals, including the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, and Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital.
The Golisano Children’s Hospital is the latest medical facility to join the WeGo network, which also works with cultural institutions such as the Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore’s National Aquarium.
Earlier this year, The Strong National Museum of Play broke ground on the second phase of its expansion project, known as the Neighborhood of Play.
The project includes a new wing and outdoor play exhibit inspired by board games, as well as a gateway building and outdoor plaza with playful elements. The wing will include two exhibits dedicated to video games.
Images: The Strong