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Dublin: 10 °C Friday 24 October, 2014

Rwandan President pledges €50,000 to perfect Joanne O’Riordan’s robot

Paul Kagame told a conference in Dublin that his country would match funds being put forward by the International Telecommunication Union.

Image: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

THE PRESIDENT OF Rwanda has pledged to match a €50,000 donation to perfecting a robot built for Cork teenager Joanne O’Riordan.

Speaking in Dublin yesterday Paul Kagame told the UN Broadband Commission meeting that his country would match the funds being put forward by the International Telecommunication Union.

Robbie the Robot was unveiled on Friday, having been built by a team of Trinity College engineers in response to a challenge set down by Joanne two years ago.

He is designed to help Joanne, who was born without limbs, maintain her independence, picking up objects for the 18-year-old.

On Friday, engineers stressed that Robbie is a working prototype and not the finished product. He was built in €50,000 in funding in just three months.

The ITU pledged €50,000 to help fund the perfection of the robot, with President Kagame committing to match that amount.

More funding is expected to have been put forward by private firms at the meeting, which was hosted by billionaire Denis O’Brien.

Read: Trinity College engineers have built Joanne O’Riordan a robot

Read: Here’s the life-changing robot designed for Joanne O’Riordan in action

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