Robert: Lonely seniors get robot friends

Published on May 26th, 2022 @ 12:00 PM


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The state of New York has announced it plans on distributing hundreds of robots to elderly residents, explaining the move will assist them in their daily lives and combat the problem of loneliness.

The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) says the machines, called “ElliQ”, will remind them to take their medication, help contact loved ones, book an Uber ride and even engage in small talk and crack jokes. The association describes the machines as a “more proactive version of Siri or Alexa.”

“Many features attracted us to ElliQ — that it is a proactive tool, remembers the interactions with the individual, focuses on health and wellness, stress reduction, sleep, hydration, etc,” says Greg Olsen, the director of NYSOFAO. “It focuses on what matters to individuals: memories, life validation, interactions with friends and families and promotes overall good health and well being.”

ElliQ consists of a “face” which is outfitted with a microphone and speakers, lights up and swivels to face people with whom it is interacting. It also comes with a touchscreen tablet which is capable of making video calls as well as display pictures and information.

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