Social robots are helping diabetic children accept the nature of their condition and become more confident about their futures, scientists have announced following a four-and-a-half year research study. Now researchers believe the robots could assist children with other medical conditions, such as autism, or act as classroom assistants aiding pupils who may be in danger of falling behind their peers.
ALIZ-E uses 'Nao' robots - each standing around 60 centimetres tall - and equips them with specially designed speech recognition software through which they can interact with a child and deliver personalised responses.
During the course of the project, they have been tested through dozens of studies, involving hundreds of children aged 7-11, in hospitals, summer camps and schools across Europe. Tony Belpaeme, Professor in Cognitive Systems and Robotics, and academic lead for ALIZ-E, said: "This is not just about a novelty factor catching the youngsters' attention, it is about the robots engaging in a way the children accept and giving them information they can understand and be motivated by. At its outset in 2010, the initial aim of the ALIZ-E project was to build the artificial intelligence (AI) for small robots and to study how young people would respond to them. To build the software, the partnership amassed experts from across Europe, and the work has led to a raft of scientific insights on how children relate to social robots, but also how robots need to be designed to maximise their impact when used for educational or therapeutic purposes. The prototype robots were initially tested at a hospital in Milan, the Fondazione Centro San Raffaele, and following initial success trials were then carried out in 11 other centres across Europe. Among the tasks performed by the robots assisting children with diabetes is in keeping a diary in which they record food intake, insulin injections and blood sugar levels, with the study showing youngsters provide more information if a robot has prompted them to do so. As well as being used in a healthcare setting, the ALIZ-E project has also seen the robots tested in schools to assess other potentially positive impacts they could have on children. In one school, the robot taught eight-year-olds about prime numbers - researchers were able to show that a robot teacher results in a noticeable improvement over teaching using only computers. Professor Belpaeme believes those tests - largely conducted in the Plymouth and Devon areas - have shown there is potential for the robots to act as teaching assistants, not replacing teachers but helping children who may be in danger of falling behind their peers. With the ALIZ-E project now reaching its conclusion, the Plymouth University team are also now exploring other uses for the robots, and believe the same software developed during the project could help children on the autistic spectrum.
There seems to be a bit of a mystery surrounding the birth and youth of our ancestor, Albert Raymond Morton. The earliest events that any of his family knew of him was that, when a young man, he worked as a steamfitter on the Trans-Canadian Railroad.
But, as to his birth, youth and parents, there are some real gaps in what is definitely knowna€”these were not topics of discussion in his home, and it simply did not occur to anyone to quiz him about his early life. Wea€™ll keep these vague impressions in mind as they may generate some leads in our search, but we must also guard against the assumption that they are all correct.
So, with the little that we know of him, we have started to collect, and sort out, the few documents we have been able to find regarding his origin. At the time of his birth (in the 1880a€™s) states were not yet keeping actual birth certificates. Again, remember that this information was provided from Raya€™s understanding of what happened when he was an infant, and given to the state many years later. Ira Homer Morton (Alberta€™s father) is buried there, next to Iraa€™s sister, Irene Morton Crankshaw. The next document that we will discuss is his application for a Social Security account number [2].
Just below this document, we will attach another, which Albert completed just a few months later, in which he applied to the Social Security board to make a correction in his date of birth.
This leaves us wondering why he would intentionally give an older date to the state of Kansas (and to several others) and a later date to the Social Security office.
But, an even more important discrepancy arises in the names, ages and places of birth of his parents. Based upon the research we have done so far, we cannot pinpoint the exact year of his birth with any certainty, and the following list will help to show the difficulty in determining that year. We have searched the records of the 1885 KS State census for Franklin Co., and have not yet been able to find him, or his family. We did find a record of his father, Ira Homer Morton, in the 1885 KS State census in Franklin Co., KS but in that record Ira stated that he was still a single man, unmarried, and he was living with his married sister, her family, and their aunt and a cousin.
One thing that has been very consistent about Raya€™s documents is that he invariably lists his mothera€™s name as Ida Louise Easley. We searched for twenty-five years to find any record of this woman, other than those listed by Raymond, and were infuriatingly unsuccessfula€¦ until June 2012. She was thirteen years old in the 1870 Federal census for Chetopa, Neosho Co., KS and still livng with her parents and siblings at that time.
In the 1880 Federal census for Lincoln, Neosho, Kansas, we find Aaron and Ida Bonham with a new set of twin boys, just a few months old, Clarence and Lawrence, born in early 1880. At about the same time, Aaron Bonhama€™s parents had settled in Franklin Co., Kansas, about 80 miles to the north. After this time, we can find no document to indicate that Aaron Bonham was still alive, but neither can we prove that he had died. Aaron and Ida could have divorced, she then quickly married Ira Morton in the fall of 1885 (after the census) and they could have had a son, Raymond, the following year--Sept 1886. Aaron could have been away for an extended period and Ida could have met Ira Morton and had a child out of wedlock before Aarona€™s return. Now, keeping that dilemma in mind, leta€™s proceed with the other documents that we have been able to find for Ida L.
Note that at the time of this marriage, she was still going by the name of a€?Bonhama€? -- not Morton. The 1890 Federal census would have been very helpful to us here, but unfortunately, it was destroyed.
We would never have thought to search for this record under the names of a€?Holmesa€? without first finding the record of her marriage. In the very same year, and census for the same county, we find that by the time the census taker had moved on to the home of Martha Bonhama€™s (the widowed mother of Aaron Bonham--and mother-in-law of Ida L.
Now, this census was just a very short time after the previous exhibit (above) but here, Ray is listed as being 10 years old, and with the surname of a€?Bonham.a€? It is the same young boy.
Even though Raya€™s mother had moved west, to Arizona, Ray continued to live with Martha Bonham. The questions must arise, that if Ray was born a€?out of wed-locka€? while Marthaa€™s daughter-in-law was still married to her son, Aaron, one might think that of all of the children, Martha might be the least likely to take this young boy into her home to raise. Whether Ray was actually going by the Bonham name, as indicated above, or whether the census taker once again made an assumption of that, is not known.
In the 1905 KS State census we again find this family still living in Stafford Co., KS with Frank Bonham now showing as the head of the household, and Martha was still alive at age 78, but Ray is no longer living with them.


It is interesting that Ida stated that her parent were born in KY, because in prior census records she had always correctly stated they were born in Tennessee.
In the 1920 Federal census for Bakersfield, Kern Co., CA we find the family has moved inland. Note that Margaret Bonham Kelly had named her oldest son, William Raymond Kelly, with his middle name being a remembrance of her younger brother, Albert Raymond Morton. We have heard that Ida Louise Easley Bonham (Morton) Holmes Hamilton passed away in Bakersfield, CA in the 1930s but we do not have a specific date for her death at this time. In only one record, his a€?Delayed Certificate of Birtha€? did Ray give an estimated age for his father. We have searched all the available records to try to find anyone by this exact name who may have lived in Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, or any other surrounding state during this period of time and have found no one with that exact name.
We previously mentioned the 1885 Kansas State census [9] in which a€?Ira Mortona€? was living in Williamsburg, Franklin Co., Kansas with his sister, Irene E. From this record, we have been able to go back to both Wisconsin, and New York, and find many records for this particular man. The purpose of this article is to document Raya€™s life, so we will not list all of the documentation for his parents, but merely summarize the key points that are pertinent. This connection, through Ohio, may account for why Ray understood that his father may have come from, and even been born in Cleveland, Ohio, and listed that city as the birth place of his father on one of the documents cited earlier. One other brief comment about this family: When Aunt Shirley Morton Donaldson, Raya€™s youngest daughter, went to Kansas on her research trip, and found the reference to George and Irene Crankshaw living in Williamsburg, she said that that name seemed to have a familiar ring to her from hearing comments made by her father years earlier.
We really know very little about Raya€™s youth, but with his consistent statements that he was born in Ottawa, Franklin County, Kansas, that is the first place we began looking. We actually have no other record for him anywhere between the 1900 census record mentioned earlier (for Stafford Co., KS) and the next one in 1915.
We did find one interesting record from 1912 that showed a Raymond Morton tried to cross over the boarder into Canada but was turned back by the authorities. Although the Canadian recruiter judged him fit for duty at the time of his enlistment, Ray was in fact discharged from the army on 18 June 1916 in Toronto, Ontario with the comment that he was a€?medically unfit.a€? He had been entered on the a€?Casualty Forma€? on 22 May 1916 before the actual discharge came through about four weeks later.
From this point we know that Ray made his way back to Big Valley, Alberta and went to work in the mines.
This couple moved from place to place seeking work primarily on government jobs, particularly thoughtout the great depression. From this point on, the family has a clear knowledge and recollection of Raya€™s life, and so we will not go into that in this article.
It appears that from about 1895, when Ray was approximately 8-10 years old, that he left his mother and siblings to live elsewhere. We hope this presentation is helpful to any of Alberta€™s posterity in future efforts of trying to find and document his life and his ancestry. Note that at the time of this marriage, she was still going by the name of a€?Bonhama€? -- not Morton.A  This adds credence to the supposition that she may not have actually married Ira H.
A little more than a year ago, on February 9, 2010, Madison Violet appeared as part of John Platta€™s On Your Radar series at the Living Room in New York Citya€™s East Village.
Although it is sporadically written that fiddler Natalie MacMaster is a relative, they are not related.
Brenley MacEachern was born in Montreal and grew up in a small Scottish community in the town of Kincardine on the shores of Lake Huron. Brenley started writing, but harshly appraises her efforts as a€?pretty rough.a€? She didna€™t really know how to write using the guitar, so a couple of times shea€™d get together with another guitar player and sing the melody while he played along, but never liked the end result. Both Brenley and Lisa thought they were going to work in the medical field, Brenley as a lab technician and Lisa as a pharmacist. Lisa states, a€?I was in grade 12 and was asked to do a musical comedy touring show called the Cape Breton Summertime Review. From online interviews we learned that Brenley had bought a looping machine and had looped her own voice.
The longer they played together, the rootsier their sound got, the old record collection seeping in more and more. Of particular influence was an album they discovered around 2005 by Nick Lowe called The Convincer (released in 2001), which had a feel that reminded them of the old a€?Charlie Rich days.a€? The writing was a€?so strong,a€? said Brenley, it convinced them to go back to their roots. When they sold their albums at shows, the fans took note of the more-produced sound on the CDs as opposed to the stripped-down sound of their live performances. Les Cooper, a big Alison Krause fan and a local Toronto producer, was their choice to guide their most recent album, No Fool for Trying. I forgot to ask if the pedal steel on the first track, a€?Ransom,a€? was a result of the girlsa€™ insistence. While I love their latest CD, Ia€™m going to have to attest that I love hearing them rock out on their earlier work.
Brenley was exposed to music from the time she was very young.A  There were two cousins who played guitar and everyone on her fathera€™s side of the family sang.
Brenley started writing, but harshly appraises her efforts as a€?pretty rough.a€? She didna€™t really know how to write using the guitar, so a couple of times shea€™d getA  together with another guitar player and sing the melody while he played along, but never liked the end result. Lisa states, a€?I was in grade 12 and was asked to do a musical comedy touring show called the Cape BretonA  Summertime Review. When they started out, and Brenley asked Lisa to jam on fiddle and sing a bit with Zoebliss, an a€?ambient trip-hop band,a€? they were light years away from their current style. In many cases where a child has diabetes, you notice their confidence has been knocked and the robot can help restore that. Long-term human interaction has tremendous potential, as the robots can then be used to bond with people and provide both support and education.
For those on return visits, the robot helps children - through a number of quizzes and games - to understand diabetes more, and absorb the huge amount of information they are given in a way they can understand. In the second document, he changed his year of birth to 1883--which now coincides with his recreated birth certificate. Morton Crankshaw and her family, as well as their widowed Aunt Sarah Cather, and her son, Henry Cather (a cousin of Iraa€™s). 1915, Raymond was standing in the Army recruitera€™s office in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where he enlisted in the Canadian Over-seas Expeditionary Force. Easley Bonham--the twins who died at just a few months old, and the four living children, three of which (# 1, 2 & 4) all claim that Aaron Bonham was their father, but #3 (Raymond) always claimed that his father was Ira Morton. Aaron and Ida could have divorced, she then quickly married Ira Morton in the fall of 1885 (after the census) and they could have had a son, Raymond, the following year--Sept 1886.A  We know Ira died in 1888, and Ida could have been reconciled to Aaron and remarried him with Bernice born to them in 1888-89.


The following fall they showed up at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) Conference. Within about six to eight months, she had met her future musical partner, Brenley MacEachern.
Brenleya€™s father is from Cape Breton, so she spent two weeks of every summer with family there, a€?down east,a€? about a mile away from where Lisa grew up. I took the last couple of months of school off, faxed in my work, and finished high school that way.
During a rehearsal session with Lisa, she left to get something and, from another room heard her own voice again, but with Lisa having added her own. When Lisa and Brenley compared the collections a few years back, it was a€?pretty uncannya€? to recall the number of Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton albums their parents had.
They have one EP and three full CDs out to date a€” Mad Violet (2002, EP), Worry the Jury (2004), Caravan (2006) and No Fool for Trying (2009).
The fans would buy the earlier CDs and come back and ask if there wasna€™t a recording that captured their live sound. Brenley began writing in a folkier rootsy style for the two of them, and Zoebliss fell away, since the other members of the band had day jobs and couldna€™t keep pace. On city streets, it might take the form of a long-limbed beauty wearing high-heeled knee-high boots. As they described their evolving life paths to me, the phone line hummed and crackled with their energy. The street they grew up on is called a€?Fiddlera€™s Rowa€? because every house on the street has had someone in the household who plays fiddle. In the second semester, I started dating the guitar player, hanging out with the a€?wronga€™ crowd, having way too much fun and playing guitar all the time. Lisa hadna€™t yet sung on stage with Brenley due to her fear of being heard, and Brenley, having not been aware that Lisa sang, was thunderstruck at the sound of their voices together. My two closest friends and I would sit together on the school bus, squished together, and sing three-part harmonies on Rankin Family songs. The same similarity applied to the number of fiddle albums, Gordon Lightfoot, Beach Boys and Elvis Presley records. They changed their name to Madison Violet for the most recent CD, to reflect their evolved style. Playing in Australia for three to four months of the year also gave them a chance to evade the Canadian winters. Brenley commiserated with the ethos of their fans, saying she also gets disappointed when she buys an album and the layered production obscures the nature of the songs shea€™d heard live.
His decision to strip the sound down to a bare minimum met some resistance, both women wanting more instrumental backup, especially from feisty Lisa. She was 7 years old when she started taking step-dancing and piano lessons.A  At 9 years old, she and her three closest friends would go to the local community hall every Wednesday evening for group fiddle lessons. I used to sing in the church choir, which was fine, because it was a group and you could kind of hide behind things, as with being a fiddle player, you can hide behind your instrument.
Hamilton.A  It could be that for personal safety reasons, that she listed the name of her deceased husband as if he were still living, but there is another listing with the date of 30 Nov. Lisa and Brenley were trading snippets of mutually shared childhood background a few minutes after they met. I was going to go to college at Saint Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and study science the first year before studying pharmacy. The fearful part was having my lips on that microphone and knowing that it was raw and everyone in the audience could hear what was coming out of me. When I characterized Gordon Lightfoot as a Canadian-bred country influence, Brenley countered that, as a touchstone, he was a lot folkier, less country-like than, for instance, Neil Young, one of her major influences. I learned what I know about songwriting as well as what I know about guitar playing from Brenley,a€? Lisa said. I didna€™t think I had the stomach to be a doctor and I thought that the closest I could get to the medical profession was to be a pharmacist. While theya€™d initially steered away from their parentsa€™ tastes, they both admitted to a secret love of American country music. The teacher, Stan Chapman, was heavily involved in the careers of many a professional player in the younger generation in Cape Breton. Behind his back, when she was around 12 or 13, Brenley would sneak into his room and play it whenever he went out to play with his friends. I would be about a foot away from the microphone until the lead singer would turn around and look back and then I would put my mouth up to it and pretend that I was singing into it. September came and I went to a€?Frosh [Freshman] Weeka€™ and got the university out of my system during that week and never enrolled for any classes. As the two began to tour more as a duo and less with a band, it was their desire that their albums become more a€?strippeda€? down and attempt to replicate their sound as a duo. Lisa stated, a€?I dona€™t know what he does or how he does it, but just about every fiddle player who does it for a living thata€™s come out of Cape Breton was taught by Stan Chapman.a€?A  Lisa played for traditional Scottish square dances on weekends and in various folk bands. As the two began to tour more as a duo and less with a band,A  it was their desire that their albums become more a€?strippeda€? down and attempt to replicate their sound as a duo. I realized the first time I sang on stage, right from the get-go, that it was what I had to do.
Brenley has said that she never saw him cry and [paraphrasing here] thinks it woulda€™ve done him some good. That was her means of income, as opposed to working in a fast-food restaurant, a more typical fallback for a teenager.
Some elements in her learning progression included using her brothera€™s Eagles songbooks, and picking up songs from Crosby Stills and Nash albums from a frienda€™s father. She also recalls learning how to play Don McLeana€™s a€?American Pie.a€? Later, while dating a guitar player in college, she got introduced to the songs of Cat Stevens. Within the first sentence that came out of my mouth, singing in front of a live audience, it was like I was struck by lightning a€” I know this sounds cheesy a€” Wow!



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