SOUTHAMPTON students have made it to the semi-finals of a national competition, and they could win £25,000.

Sophie and Hannah from Wildern Secondary School have been named semi-finalists of the Longitude Explorer Prize, which aims at encouraging young people to create and develop tech solutions to the major challenges the world faces.

Their invention is called Artificial Intelligence to Support the Elderly (AISE), which aims at supporting elderly people mentally, physically and emotionally, so they can remain healthy.

AISE is a robot in the form of small human, cat or dog, equipped with an app and this is linked to the robot and sends customised reminders, meal options and exercises for the owner to choose and follow, while it can show affection using face recognition to reduce loneliness in the elderly.

Sam Clissold, Science Teacher at Wildern Secondary School said: "We’re incredibly proud of Sophie and Hannah. They’ve worked so hard on AISE, thinking about the challenge of loneliness and isolation in old age, coming up with the concept of AISE and developing the idea.

They are great examples of the talent of Wildern’s students, and so deserving to have made it to the semi-finals and we’re excited to see how they develop AISE in the coming weeks and have fingers crossed that they’ll make it to the finals at the end of this term.”

The pair attended an event at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London on Thursday January 30, where the 60 semi-final teams learnt about coding, artificial intelligence and presentation skills to help them develop their idea and make it a reality over the next six months.