The future of healthcare is here: Robot companions for seniors

Published: May. 27, 2022 at 3:01 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Meet ElliQ. She tells jokes, plays trivia, and dabbles in exercises.

“A very common first interaction of the day would be ElliQ saying ‘Hey, good morning. How did you sleep last night? I remember yesterday you slept poorly,” said Dor Skuler, CEO and Founder of Intuition Robotics.

ElliQ was “born” six years ago, just as an idea after Skuler was looking for skilled help for his father. He realized though, his father needed more than just the basics. He needed someone who could care, have an empathetic ear, and share common interests.

That’s where ElliQ comes in. The first AI device of it’s kind. She’s the robot roommate who has memory, starts conversations, and helps stay in touch with family members.

“It’s more of this companion that’s with you in your journey through this period of life,” said Skuler.

Soon, nearly a thousand New York seniors will start their day with ElliQ free of charge. The company has partnered with the New York State Office of the Aging to bring the robot into 800 homes across the state chosen by local offices and case workers.

“The ones that indicate to us that they’re interested in bringing these units to people they know who can benefit, we’ll ask them how many they want, and hopefully that will be around 834 to start,” said Greg Olsen, Director of the New York State Office for the Aging.

Skuler says ElliQ is best fit for adults 65 and older who live alone or spend most of their day alone.

The first ElliQ’s are expected to be sent out in July.

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