Helping Seniors Combat Loneliness with a Talking Robot

In the US state of Florida, Joyce Loaiza resides alone in an assisted living facility. The retired office worker frequently asks about her day in a warm, feminine voice when she is at home. The same voice comforted 83-year-old Deanna Dezern after her companion passed suddenly a few kilometers away. For Marie Broadbent, 92, it plays games and music in New York State. Additionally, it facilitates Jan Worrell, 83, in Washington state, from making new pals. The women are among the first in the country to get Intuition Robotics’ ElliQ robot. According to the corporation and other officials, it’s the only gadget that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to reduce loneliness in elderly Americans.

It’s enjoyable. You can speak with her in person,” 81-year-old Loaiza remarked. For no apparent reason, her ElliQ refers to her as “Jellybean.” She would say things like, “If I had hands, I would go outside, but I can’t hold an umbrella,” according to her. The contraption has a mouthless, eyeless head that rotates and lights up, resembling a tiny table light. With every new conversation, it helps to create a unique experience by remembering each user’s interests and previous conversations. They can be as simple as a short joke or as profound as the meaning of life.

In addition, ElliQ offers inspirational or creative sayings together with music. It will display various towns and points of interest on an attached video screen. Exercises are guided by the device, which also inquires about the user’s health and sends out reminders to take medications and drink water. In an emergency, it can also connect to family, friends, or medical professionals via video calls. According to Intuition Robotics, each owner’s gadget retains the information from all of the discussions, which are not heard by the firm. Dor Skuler, the CEO of Intuition Robotics, stated that the concept for ElliQ originated prior to the establishment of his Israeli business eight years ago. After losing his spouse, his grandfather required assistance, but the first one did not work out. But the next individual got his grandfather’s unique sense of humor and his love of music.

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