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This AI robot was made to help seniors combat loneliness

One in 3 adults ages 50 to 80 reported feeling isolated from others in the past year, according to the 2023 National Poll on Healthy Aging.
This AI robot was made to help seniors combat loneliness
Posted at 9:56 AM, Jan 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-19 12:11:01-05

Meet the artificial intelligence robot — named ElliQ — that was created to combat senior loneliness.

ElliQ interacts with you in many ways, from asking about your day to playing trivia or listening to possible health issues, for example.

“When you grow old, in many cases, your life gradually empties ... there's a void growing and being created there and you have less people, less impact,” said Ronen Soffer, the product management leader with Intuition Robotics.

“ElliQ is a lovely speaking desk lamp. She’s also a very advanced robot and she's also the world’s leading social companion technology stack,” he said.

@scrippsnews This #ArtificialIntelligence robot may look like a lamp with a tablet attached to it, but it provides much more for seniors. ElliQ 3, the latest model of the #robot with more AI integration, was created to engage with seniors who struggle with social isolation or loneliness. We got a demo to see how it works. #tech ♬ original sound - Scripps News

The National Poll on Healthy Aging in 2023 found that 1 in 3 adults ages 50 to 80 reported feeling isolated from others in the past year.

Social isolation can increase a person’s risk of premature death from all causes, according to the CDC. Social isolation is also associated with around a 50% increased risk of dementia. 

ElliQ learns and grows with you, and connects with other apps as well. In fact, doctors are now prescribing robots like this to help with loneliness.

SEE MORE: Owning a pet can help slow dementia progress among older adults

“She’ll always try to engage you and enrich your life based on things you like and based on things she thinks you'll like,” Soffer said.

The AI robot is also HIPAA-compliant.

“Everything they share stays with ElliQ. We will use anonymized data for the sole purpose of improving the product,” Soffer said.

Those interested in using the robot can buy one online. There is an installation fee and subscription fee, but Soffer said a growing number of states and counties in the U.S. are making it possible to get a funded or subsidized ElliQ.

Intuition Robotics announced and showcased its newest version of the robot, ElliQ 3, at the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas in early January.

The latest version has a deeper integration of generative AI with both hardware and software updates as human-AI relationships advance.

“Generative AI technology is also used in other areas of ElliQ. One example is the ability to paint or write poems together, activities that contribute to cognitive wellness and creativity,” Intuition Robotics wrote in a January press release on ElliQ 3.

ElliQ 3 is also lighter than before and has twice the amount of computing power and memory.

SEE MORE: Robots help provide companionship, health benefits to aging Americans


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