Be PART of it!” is the PARTicipative approach, which enables children and adolescents with and without chronic illness to
to play a decisive role in shaping the scientific process.

Avatars in school


Social Inclusion

A key feature of avatars is the ability for children and young people to participate in school life beyond the classroom.



The avatar prevents students from missing curriculum while they are unable to attend school. Students who attend school with a reduced schedule have also been able to improve their performance through the use of avatars.


joint lessons

The telepresence avatar gives students the flexibility to take up to 100% of their classes, depending on their particular health condition.

The project, Be PART of it!, investigates the use of the avatar AV1 on the social inclusion, self-esteem, quality of life, sense of belonging and participation of children and adolescents with chronic illness. Particularly, children and adolescents with chronic illnesses often have difficulty participating regularly in school life and integrating fully into the community. They are often forced to stay away from class due to inpatient stays, medical treatments, or episodes of illness. This is where telepresence technology comes in to ensure participation. The Avatar AV1 is a robot which can be controlled from anywhere using an app. It transmits the image and sound, and the child can either speak up through its microphone or communicate by changing the robot’s facial expression. Since chronic diseases are often also accompanied by an altered appearance, the Avatar offers special protection of the children’s privacy. For example, The Avatar can only be used in real time, and it is not possible to record, transmit or store data. All streamed data is encrypted end-to-end, so no external access is possible. It is also possible to personalize the avatar A1, for example by using stickers or painting on it.

To get our avatars into action, we first contact the family of the child with a chronic disease and obtain their consent. Afterwards, the school is contacted, and the teachers, parents and students are informed about the project. Following this step, the avatar is introduced to the child and personalized. Once the child has familiarized themselves with the avatar, it is brought to the school and activated together.


We want to enable children and adolescents with a chronic illness to stay in contact with their classmates and not lose touch in class with the help of the avatar A1. It is important to collect information about the changes that occur through the avatar AV1 in children and adolescents with chronic diseases, in order to enable targeted psychological and educational support in the future. With the help of questionnaires at different time points, we are investigating how the use of the avatar AV1 affects the school participation, sense of belonging, quality of life and self-esteem of children and adolescents with chronic diseases. The study will be conducted only with the consent of the participants and will not affect the child’s medical treatment. Thus, children can receive an avatar without participating in the study and still benefit from the advantages of this therapeutic tool. Within the project, Be PART of it! the approach of PARTicipative research will be pursued, which enables a collaboration between researchers and co-researchers from the very beginning. Children and adolescents with and without chronic illnesses are considered as co-researchers, which has the advantage of including the perspectives of students and letting them shape the research process themselves. Instead of researching about students, research is conducted WITH them. For example, this website was created in collaboration with students from the TGM (Technologisches Gewerbemuseum – Höhere Technische Bundeslehr- u. Versuchsanstalt). The technical expertise of the students should ideally complement the content-related know-how of the project team. The creation of the project website should not only be informative, but also specifically target the student’s needs. Therefore, the creation of the website as well as the entire research process is participatory and should actively involve the students. All these steps are intended to enable children and adolescents to have a better participation in school and in everyday life in the long run. Through close collaboration between researchers and stakeholders, technologies can be further developed and improved to better meet the needs of users and promote inclusion and participation in the school environment.