London-based robotics company Intuition Robotics has launched Ellie.Q, one of the most sophisticated social robots around that can cheer up the elderly, remind them to take their medication and become a companion.
The robot is so effective because it shows personal emotion through voice tone changes, just like a human being. It uses natural speech to interact with its owner, rather than sounding like a robotic voice. She’ll also suggest little things to do throughout the day, such as going out for a walk, playing a game or phoning a friend to help them feel more sociable and entertained.
“Loneliness and social isolation are the result of longevity, and technology has made the problem worse by requiring older adults to learn new technical skills in order to accomplish the simplest of tasks,” says Dor Skuler, CEO and Founder of Intuition Robotics.
“Our goal is to leverage a combination of our proprietary technology, gerontology know-how and elegant design to empower older adults to intuitively interact with technology and easily connect with content and loved ones, and pursue an active lifestyle.
Ellie.Q uses AI to learn what her owner likes doing most and will suggest more of those activities to keep the person engaged throughout the day and avoid him or her falling into loneliness.
The robot was launched at the Design Museum in London in a project that saw the company collaborate with Yves Behar, founder of Fuseproject.
“The idea of having a robot companion is quite dystopian, especially for older generations,” Behar said. “Through years of research, we were able to develop a design language and user experience that feels natural, with subtle expressions to develop a unique bond between Elli.Q and its owner.
“Elli.Q could never replace human interaction, but it can be an important motivating factor in keeping older adults healthy and active when living alone.”