OSLO — In 2015, Karen Dolva learned from a friend who’d worked briefly in a pediatric hospital ward of the loneliness that afflicts children during long-term hospital stays. The conversation inspired Ms. Dolva, who was working as a digital consultant at the time, to research the effects of social isolation on young people.
Within weeks, she and two tech industry colleagues, Marius Aabel and Matias Doyle, had formed No Isolation, a tech start-up that aims to develop technological solutions to societal problems like loneliness.
At the London Design Biennale, the Norwegian exhibition includes the newest version of the company’s AV1, a desktop unit designed to look like a robot, which can connect a sick student to the classroom. “We were surprised,” Ms. Dolva, the company’s chief executive, said in a Skype interview. “We couldn’t really grasp that technology hadn’t already solved this problem.”
The unit, whose role Ms. Dolva likened to…