Companion Robot Aims to End Social Isolation Among Elderly

Designed for older adults with older adults.

Apr 9, 2018

With medical science improving almost every day, people around the world are living longer and longer. According to the World Health Organization the number of elderly people living along has also drastically increased in recent years.

To help elderly people in these situations cope with social isolation, loneliness, and depression, an Israeli robotics company called Intuition Robotics, has come up with an ingenious invention.

Thye developed a robotic companion called ElliQ, that was especially designed to spend time with older adults and keep their human active and engaged.

ElliQ doesn't have a face, arms, or legs, but lights up and talks when she (her maker calls her that) hears her name.

"You’ve been sitting all day. You’re not on your track to completing your goal. You should go for a walk," is just one of many interactions the robot can have with their owners.

The robot is programmed to mimic head movements to connect with the user. "She can look down she can look up, she can get excited," explained Dor Skuler, co-founder of Intuition Robotics.

She can also take calls, read emails and messages out loud, and play music for her human companion.

Dor Skuler, co-founder of Intuition Robotics, told VOA ElliQ is not supposed to replace humans, rather, allow older adults to "stay sharp, keep connected, active and engaged" with their environment to fend off feelings of isolation and being depressed.

The price of the companion robot has not yet been published, but Skuler said it will be on the high end of consumer electronics.

ElliQ will be tested in the homes of the elderly in the United States and will be commercially available sometime in 2018.

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DAVID RUHM, EDITOR & WRITER
David has a passion for languages and words, and loves to see people happy. He writes about inspiring ideas, amazing technologies and all the wonders of the world.

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