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Robo-Teddy Comes To The Aid of Sick Children

Boston Children’s Hospital and M.I.T. have recently collaborated to create a robotic teddy bear capable of revolutionizing the face of children’s toys and pediatric care. It's called "Huggable," a “high-tech puppet” capable of interacting with sick children through play and speech with a simple remote control. Huggable is currently part of a developing program with 90 children at Boston Children’s Hospital, and his future looks bright.

According to Dr. Peter Weinstock, director of the children's training program, an increase in the levels of happiness in children has a big effect on healing, and thus inventors hope that the reassuring presence of an interactive teddy bear will help “alleviate anxiety, pain, and isolation for children in a hospital.”

“We think a lot about heart rate, blood pressure, and how much oxygen is in the blood, but we don’t have a great monitor for how the child is feeling right now,” said Weinstock. Huggable is intended to “adapt to changing situations and emotional scenarios” to help children feel better faster.

At this point, the hospital has invested a half million dollars in social robotics research, which includes the Huggable program. Children in the study are closely monitored for physiological changes to determine whether or not Huggable is working as expected. Dr. Cynthia Breazeal, leader of the personal robots group at M.I.T.’s Media Lab, believes if all goes well, this could someday become a standard of care. “It’s not only the health and emotional and recovery benefits, but also logistical and financial, improving efficiency to the overall health system,” she said. When this loveable bear will actually be hitting the shelves, or hospital beds, is still in question.

[h/t: New York Times]

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Afternoon Map
The Most Searched Shows on Netflix in 2017, By State

Orange is the New Black is the new black, at least as far as Netflix viewers are concerned. The women-in-prison dramedy may have premiered in 2013, but it’s still got viewers hooked. Just as they did in 2017, HighSpeedInternet.com took a deep dive into Netflix analytics using Google Trends to find out which shows people in each state were searching Netflix for throughout the year. While there was a little bit of crossover between 2016 and 2017, new series like American Vandal and Mindhunter gave viewers a host of new content. But that didn’t stop Orange is the New Black from dominating the map; it was the most searched show in 15 states.

Coming in at a faraway second place was American Vandal, a new true crime satire that captured the attention of five states (Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). Even more impressive is the fact that the series premiered in mid-September, meaning that it found a large and rabid audience in a very short amount of time.

Folks in Alaska, Colorado, and Oregon were all destined to be disappointed; Star Trek: Discovery was the most searched-for series in each of these states, but it’s not yet available on Netflix in America (you’ve got to get CBS All Access for that, folks). Fourteen states broke the mold a bit with shows that were unique to their state only; this included Big Mouth in Delaware, The Keepers in Maryland, The OA in Pennsylvania, GLOW in Rhode Island, and Black Mirror in Hawaii.

Check out the map above to see if your favorite Netflix binge-watch matches up with your neighbors'. For more detailed findings, visit HighSpeedInternet.com.

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Afternoon Map
Monthly Internet Costs in Every Country

Thanks to the internet, people around the world can conduct global research, trade tips, and find faraway friends without ever leaving their couch. Not everyone pays the same price for these digital privileges, though, according to new data visualizations spotted by Thrillist.

To compare internet user prices in each country, cost information site HowMuch.net created a series of maps. The data comes courtesy of English market research consultancy BDRC and Cable.co.uk, which teamed up to analyze 3351 broadband packages in 196 nations between August 18, 2017 and October 12, 2017.

In the U.S., for example, the average cost for internet service is $66 per month. That’s substantially more than what browsers pay in neighboring Mexico ($27) and Canada ($55). Still, we don’t have it bad compared to either Namibia or Burkina Faso, where users shell out a staggering $464 and $924, respectively, for monthly broadband access. In fact, internet in the U.S. is far cheaper than what residents in 113 countries pay, including those in Saudi Arabia ($84), Indonesia ($72), and Greenland ($84).

On average, internet costs in Asia and Russia tend to be among the lowest, while access is prohibitively expensive in sub-Saharan Africa and in certain parts of Oceania. As for the world’s cheapest internet, you’ll find it in Ukraine and Iran.

Check out the maps below for more broadband insights, or view HowMuch.net’s full findings here.

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

[h/t Thrillist]

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