Today, in our engaged daily-day life, technology is the only key which played a role as mate. That mate is targeted at improving the quality of life for younger people, keeping them connected and engaged, while loneliness runs protrusive among our aged.
An emotionally intelligent robot has been created to help older people to promote activity and tackle loneliness by nudging them to take part in digital and physical activities. A robot personal assistant called “ElliQ” for elderly people to improve the quality of life, help them maintain a healthy level of cognitive and social activity and stay connected with their family and friends.
ElliQ is a robotic companion with high emotional intelligence. A prototype of the ElliQ robot, designed by Yves Behar’s firm Fuseproject in collaboration with a team of Ramat Gan (Israel)-based start-up Intuition Robotics, which emerged from stealth on Wednesday.
“The idea of having a robot companion is quite dystopian, especially for older generations,” said Yves Béhar, CEO of Fuseproject—a design studio that collaborated with Intuition Robotics on the ElliQ.
A new robot, ElliQ is a small desktop device that consists of a stylised domed “main piece (body)” and a separate detachable screen. ElliQ intentionally doesn’t look like a robot, with no eyes or mouth. The body what looks like a little mushroom-shaped lamp, the top portion (an attached bobble head-esque animatronic) moves and bends around with lights flickering to acknowledge a person’s presence or to mimic head gestures while expressing emotions. And the secondary piece is essentially a tablet device that ElliQ can display content and start video calls. ElliQ: it’s not a humanoid robot, but rather a voice assistant similar to Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Apple Siri.
Dor Skuler, CEO and founder of Intuition Robotics, explained: “Our goal is to leverage a combination of our proprietary technology, emotive interaction models, and gerontology insights with elegant design to empower older adults to intuitively interact with technology and easily connect with content and loved ones and pursue an active lifestyle.
“We like to think of ElliQ as part communication coordinator, part facilitator of lifelong learning and part coach. She’s easy to talk to, intuitive to operate and understands her owner.” he added.
Yves Béhar (CEO of Fuseproject) and also a Swiss designer commented in an interview with VentureBeat that ElliQ’s design is meant to help develop a unique bond between ElliQ and her owner. Through natural communication methods and body languages, it promises to convey emotion, while it uses sounds and light, in addition to voice, to express itself.
The robot’s AI has a bit of soft paternalism built in, too. ElliQ may suggest music, podcasts, or audiobooks to listen to, though it may also recommend a person taking a walk after watching TV for a prolonged period of watching TV. It can also monitor its owner’s health and wellness, read audio books, and spontaneously start conversations. In announcement video shows off ambitious features for ElliQ: responses to messages, verbal notifications, integrated video calls, reminders for medication and a connected app for loved ones to monitor activities.
According to Venture Beat, ElliQ isn’t available for sale yet. Intuition will begin trials of the ElliQ robot in February, and set to take place in the homes of elderly adults in the Bay Area of San Francisco.