An ageing population presents new opportunities for tech companies, and one of the latest to target the elderly is a robot personal assistant called ElliQ.
ElliQ was built by Israeli startup Intuition Robotics and is designed to help elderly people remain active, engaged with the outside world and in contact with friends and family. The ElliQ bot functions like Alexa or Google Home, while a small tablet next to it provides a visual interface for things like video calls.
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ElliQ will remind users of events in their diary, or when it's time to take medication, while also suggesting activities like exercises or podcasts to listen to. In the video below we're shown ElliQ telling Mary about a new Ted video talk before suggesting she goes for a walk. We also see a call with Mary's daughter, who's able to remotely observe the house temperature.
What's particularly fascinating about ElliQ is the way the robot's head and torso are designed to move with almost human-like mobility, using subtle nods and gestures to give it a more friendly demeanour.
"We like to think of her as part communication coordinator, part facilitator of lifelong learning and part coach," Dor Skuler, CEO and founder of Intuition Robotics, told VentureBeat. "She's easy to talk to, intuitive to operate, and understands her owner."
It all looks and sounds great, but whether the finished product will live up to the concept remains to be seen. There's no word on when ElliQ might be available or how much it might cost, but you can put your name on a waiting list on Intuition Robotics' website right now.
If it lives up to the promise, this could be a genuinely helpful assistant for the elderly. But… we kind of want one too.