Digital Health Briefings

Robot ElliQ: Ageing Companion

She’s just an AI device in the shape of a lamp.

ElliQ is an “ageing companion” launched by Intuition Robotics – a startup founded in Israel in 2016. ElliQ is a robot associate named after a Norse goddess that represents old age and is designed to keep elders active, independent, and engaged. 

ElliQ talks while keeping her human partner active. The robot imitates user-to-user head motions. She can look up and be excited. She answers the phone, reads emails, and plays her partner’s music. ElliQ is a tabletop that illuminates when you call it. Besides wellness and environmental monitoring, it uses machine learning and computer vision to provide proactive suggestions, entertainment and activities.

ElliQ will assist in leading the most independent life at home – from setting reminders for upcoming appointments to assisting with transportation. It uses multiple sensory and historical data points to estimate the availability of interaction. It might learn of a favourite thing from a user: a country, a food … and then recall it months later, giving him or her the same bonding feeling as a friend who references their long-ago comment. It constructs a predictive model of behaviour based on different data and a user conversation history.  

The animation lamp inspired its design in the Pixar logo. The robot can remind people to take their medicines or arrange cabs. Older users can play games, access social media, and conduct on-screen video chats to stay connected to the outside world. ElliQ may suggest music, podcasts, or audiobooks that the user may enjoy and may also recommend healthy activities such as walking when the user has been engaged in long-term sedentary activity. Through voice commands, on-screen instructions, and proactive suggestions, ElliQ interacts with users in a way that feels natural, effortless and personalized just for them.

Thanks to its camera and mic, the lamp-like elder robot can see, hear and talk, while its adjacent tablet screen allows for accompanying images. The device costs $250; the monthly service is $30.

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