Life gets a little closer to normal

Their slogan says «We help people out of loneliness.» But beyond the first glance it becomes clear that there’s more to what the Norwegian startup No Isolation does. Take 11-year-old Maja, for example, when she was three she got cancer and ever since she’s missed out on countless school days and activities with friends. It sure hasn’t been easy. But thanks to a certain robot – an AV1 – Maja’s life has become a bit closer to what most 11-year-olds consider a normal life. Telia Norway is now working together with No Isolation to get more robots to more kids.

The little, white AV1 is a communications robot, a telepresence robot, specifically developed for children and young adults with long-term illness. It’s got two motors, a battery, wifi, a 4G connection and can be placed anywhere. A camera, a speaker and a microphone enables students like Maja to participate in class and to stay in touch with family and friends – perhaps from a hospital bed. Everything is controlled with an app on the user’s smartphone or tablet.

“Firstly, we want to bring people out of loneliness and involuntary, social isolation,” says Anna Heide at No Isolation.  “Secondly, we want to show that tailored communications technology can really make a difference in people's lives, and that great technology should be available to everyone.” 

Telia’s contribution is using its service «Mobilpant», mobile phone recycling, to raise money for more robots. Out of every recycled phone in Norway, just over SEK10 will go to producing AV1 robots. Telia employees are also helping out in different ways, as part of Telia's YOUNITE, which enables employees to engage in activities that help people and contrinute to the digitalization of society.

On August 26 for example, four AV1 ambassadors from Telia Norway used robots to transmit a live concert in Bergen, Norway, with Norwegian superstars Marcus and Martinus. Kids in St. Olavs Hospital in Trondheim and in Haukeland Hospital in Bergen were able to watch the concert, and afterwards the ambassadors were invited backstage with the robots, where Markus and Martinus could speak with the kids.

In the next months, 25 ambassadors will hand out AV1 robots to schools across Norway.

No Isolation is a perfect example of how mobile technology can make a real difference," says Ingvild Stubhaug Steg at Telia in Norway. "In this case, the difference is for kids suffering from long-term illness."

“One of the reasons that the collaboration with Telia has been so successful is that we have the same goal: to improve people's lives with technology,” Heide says.  “Telia wants to be the new-generation telco. This is of course an on-going process, and so our collaboration with Telia is also a process in which we constantly keep an eye out for more opportunities to do things together.”

THE FACTS: No Isolation

  • Norwegian start-up with 13 employees

  • Founded on October 1, 2015

  • Several of the founders come from the oil industry and now use oil technology to help long-term sick children

  • To combat loneliness and isolation through technology as an aid

  • The first product is AV1, a personal robot that helps long-term sick children

  • Has won the award for this year's newcomer and this year's social tech startup during the Nordic Startup Awards

 Read more about No Isolation and their work at www.noisolation.no