Buddy will help children diagnosed with anxiety disorders such as general anxiety, social anxiety, separation anxiety, panic disorders, and phobias.   Using the latest technologies like machine learning and facial recognition, Buddy will be equipped to analyze the signs of children and use them to carry out thorough diagnoses and analyses.   Buddy will pave the way for more children-friendly methods towards diagnosing diseases and disorders from a young age as well as break possible barriers doctors may have with dealing with children.


Buddy is an assistive mental healthcare device that targets children diagnosed with anxiety. Our aim is to help children diagnosed with anxiety disorders such as general anxiety, social anxiety, separation anxiety, panic disorders, and phobias. Anxiety disorders are one of the most common disorders among children and adolescents with a prevalence ranging from 4% to 20%. (MS Bhatia, A Goyal, 2018)  Moreover, Our device will be both instruction-based and data-driven. Buddy would be a programmable device situated inside the heart of a regular teddy bear. It will look like a teddy bear to appear more friendly and welcoming to children.  In addition, Inside the teddy bear, our main program will be inserted with the camera for face recognition where physical signs and expressions of certain emotions such as stress, fear, and anger can be detected and tracked.  In addition, a voice recognition feature will be applied and programmed to detect certain tones, phrases, and expressions that are commonly expressed in such situations. In response to the negative emotions detected through the features mentioned above,  the device will contain an affirmation feature to express certain positive statements that can help our target to challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts.



  •  Emotional Recognition Methodology:  

In the Emotional Recognition aspect of Buddy, we will be using Google’s Teachable Machines and program certain physical and emotional traits into the device. We will run frequent tests to make sure that the device truly understands the emotional and physical facial expressions. We will also program Buddy to point out the physical and behavioral traits of people with anxiety in order to spot an anxiety attack faster.(Dumas, 2001, pages 1,3, and 5)  

  • Data Collection Methodology   

Our device is both instruction-based and data-driven. When programming Buddy, the program will include all the recognition elements needed for Buddy to function. Usual child responses will be initially embedded in Buddy’s programming. This aspect of data collection will be instruction-based. In addition, we will also introduce the data-driven element of Buddy by programming it to constantly collect information in order to enhance the functioning of this device. (Mason and Patil, 2015), (Lau, Safie, Stepan, Tran, 2011, page 45)

  • Speech recognition methodology 

The software setup will be by Mycroft.AI on a Raspberry Pi 3B+. AKA Picroft with the wake word phrase, Hey buddy!  he speech will be converted from physical sound to an electric signal with a microphone then the code on the raspberry pi will run the speech using the installed program on windows pyaudio with, send a response back through the speakers.The SpeechRecognition package is very versatile since it works as a wrapper for various common speech APIs. One of them, the Google Web Speech API, has a hard-coded default API key in the SpeechRecognition library.  Noise is present in all audio recordings, and unmanaged noise can degrade the accuracy of speech recognition software, therefore a background noise filter will be implemented to filter background noise and recognize speech more accurately.(A Goyal, 2018), (“SpeechRecognition”, 2021), (“Let Siri Control Your Raspberry”, 2021).


 1- MS Bhatia, A Goyal, P. (2018). prevalence of anxiety disorders in children. Google Scholar. Retrieved 1 October 2021, from https://scholar.google.com/scholar hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=prevalence+of+anxiety+disorders+in+children&oq=prevalence+of+anxiety+disorders+in+#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3DfzFcdVQqKDUJ.  

2- Alfakeh, S. A., Gadah, A. A., Alharbi, K. A., Jan, F. M., Hejazi, M. S., Addas, O. K., Alamoudi, M. K., & Al Taifi, A. I. (2021). Childhood anxiety disorders prevalence in Saudi Arabia. Saudi medical journal42(1), 91–94. https://doi.org/10.15537/smj.2021.1.25624  

3-Creswell, C., Waite, P., & Cooper, P. J. (2014). Assessment and management of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. Archives of disease in childhood99(7), 674–678. https://doi.org/10.1136/archdischild-2013-303768   4-Essau, C. A., Lewinsohn, P. M., Lim, J. X., Ho, M. R., & Rohde, P. (2018). Incidence, recurrence and comorbidity of anxiety disorders in four major developmental stages. Journal of affective disorders228, 248–253. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2017.12.014  

5-Wehry, A. M., Beesdo-Baum, K., Hennelly, M. M., Connolly, S. D., & Strawn, J. R. (2015). Assessment and treatment of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. Current psychiatry reports17(7), 52. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-015-0591-z  

6-McGuinness, T. M., & Durand, S. C. (2016). Update on Anxiety Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence. Journal of psychosocial nursing and mental health services54(6), 25–28. https://doi.org/10.3928/02793695-20160518-04  

7- Keeton, C. P., Kolos, A. C., & Walkup, J. T. (2009). Pediatric generalized anxiety disorder: epidemiology, diagnosis, and management. Paediatric drugs11(3), 171–183. https://doi.org/10.2165/00148581-200911030-00003  

8-Dumas, 2001, pages 1,3, and 5   

9-Mason and Patil, 2015 (data collection, 2nd link)  

10- Lau, Safie, Stepan, Tran, 2011, page 45 (data collection, 3rd link)  

11-Tyagi, A. (2021). J.A.R.V.I.S. Hackster.io. Retrieved 1 October 2021, from https://www.hackster.io/abhi007tyagi/j-a-r-v-i-s-72e62a.  

12- SpeechRecognition. PyPI. (2021). Retrieved 1 October 2021, from https://pypi.org/project/SpeechRecognition/.  

13- Dumas, 2001, pages 1,3, and 5 (emotional recognition, 1st link)2- Mason and Patil, 2015 (data collection, 2nd link)3- Lau, Safie, Stepan, Tran, 2011, page 45 (data collection, 3rd link)


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  1. Hello,
    Thank you for your efforts and your presentation.
    I have some comments about your idea and presentation as following:
    1) Is anxiety disorders happened to only Saudi children?
    2) I think you are limiting yourself by using a teddy bear, and by the way, my child hates teddy bears!
    3) It is unclear if the device will be engaged with the child by communicating or if it is just a smart device that will collect data? do I need to have the same teddy bear in all the house rooms?
    4) Your presentation needs to be improved. I can read what is in the slides, use fewer words and more figures, also, try to practice before the presentation (I was forced to speed up your presentation)
    good luck,

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