Laney Read, 6, interacts with the new RCMP robot she named Ard-E. The robot, which will help the Victim Services team support young victims, is the first robot used by a police force worldwide, according to the Red Deer RCMP. Robin Grant/Red Deer Express

Ard-E is ready for duty

Talking, singing, dancing RCMP robot will help support children experiencing traumatic events

The newest member of the Red Deer Victim Services team is a robot named Ard-E.

The winning name for the first bot to be used by a police detachment in the world, according to the RCMP, was submitted by six-year-old Red Deer resident Laney Read.

“It sounds like the letter ‘R’ and the letter ‘D’ and is like Red Deer,” she said when the name was unveiled Thursday morning. “But it has to be a robot name like Wall-E!”

The MEDi robot was purchased by Red Deer Victim Services through donations, according to an RCMP press release. It will be put to use to help and support children going through police and court proceedings.

Ard-E is almost two-feet tall and can talk, sing, dance and play games in a way that adults can’t.

At the unveiling, Ard-E showed off its speaking skills, saying “Have you ever tried to take a deep breath when you are nervous?”

As reporters took the robot’s picture, Ard-E said, “I hope you are getting my good side.”

The robot also sang the wildly popular song Let It Go from the Disney movie Frozen.

It is the same MEDi robot that is helping children get through stressful procedures, shots and tests at hospitals in Canada and the United States.

Inspector Gerald Grobmeier of the Red Deer RCMP said the robot gives police another tool to work with kids who have experienced traumatic events.

“No matter what we do as police officers or adults in helping kids get through it, we are still adults, and frequently they have been hurt by adults, so it’s very difficult to overcome those barriers,” he said.

“There are things we can say as adults that kids don’t really hear but when a robot who is almost the same age tells you this, it seems to resonate more with them. It’s all about trying to make a bad situation a little bit better for them.”

In addition to a prize pack, young Read will be invited back to the detachment and be made honourary, “Police Chief for the Day.”

The contest was launched Jan. 7th and was open to children ages five to 14. The RCMP received more than 200 submissions and the final winner was selected by public vote after the top three robot names were narrowed down.

Just Posted

Kenney talks pipelines with Trudeau after election win, calls it cordial

Almost a year ago Kenney dismissed Trudeau as a dilettante and a lightweight

Sylvan Lake Youth Services receives grant for mental health programming

The Alberta Health Services grant will be put towards running the Community Helpers Project

Sylvan Lake’s Leaders of Tomorrow awards get a new look

The Youth Sparks Awards will feature six award categories on May 31

Novice Sylvan Lake Buccaneers sail to home opener win

The novice Buccaneers played in a triple-header with the bantam and midget Buccaneers on April 12

Former Sylvan Lake resident receives humanitarian award

Humanitarian efforts see Sylvan Lake native recognized for long-term contributions

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

Person airlifted to hospital after avalanche in Yoho National Park has died

The man was among a party of three involved in an avalanche Saturday afternoon

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Most Read