NY State Gives More Than 800 ElliQ Robot Companions for Elderly
More than 800 older adults are getting a free ElliQ robot companion from the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA). Intuition Robotics designed ElliQ for aging people living independently to combine a smart display and AI-controlled camera with a proactive and supportive voice assistant.
ElliQ’s voice assistant can initiate conversations and come to learn the preference and interests of its owners. The AI can remember and reference previous conversations, leveraging that information to build a relationship. ElliQ will remind users about medication, connect them to their family and friends, and even suggest personalized activities, exercises, and healthy meals. NYSOFA is coordinating with its local offices and associated groups to find those whom an ElliQ would most help stay independent and reduce social isolation. Intuition boasts that ElliQ owners average 20 interactions with the AI every day.
“We are so pleased to partner with Intuition Robotics and make ElliQ available to older adults in New York. This product does so many things to improve health, combat isolation, and improve overall well-being and independence,” NYSOFA director Greg Olsen said. “Designed with input from older adults, the future of supporting and serving older adults includes technology. The future is here. Despite misconceptions and generalizations, older adults embrace new technology, especially when they see it is designed by older adults to meet their needs. For those who experience some form of isolation and wish to age in place, ElliQ is a powerful complement to traditional forms of social interaction and support from professional or family caregivers.”
NYSOFA is distributing ElliQ robots as part of a $2.9 million budget for innovating new ways to serve the aging community in the state, especially with regard to social isolation. ElliQ is joining NYSOFA-backed plans like the Trualta online platform for supporting family caregivers and the distribution of lifelike animatronic pets, which the self-reported loneliness of older adults by 70%. Intuition’s deal with NYSOFA shares similarities with the partnership between K4Connect and the non-profit North Carolina Assisted Living Association (NCALA), which installed more than 1,400 Amazon Echo Show 8 smart displays around 1,200 North Carolina assisted living communities. The devices in boosting resident morale and keeping them connected with family and friends led K4Connect to explore more ways of using their software to help homes maintain their residents’ mental and physical well-being. There’s already evidence the devices can be helpful. Project Zilver and Voice for Loneliness have both published studies showing how voice assistants can be comforting companions, along with keeping people connected by phone and video calls. A
“We’ve long believed that connecting older adults with local communities via ElliQ will add an important element in providing holistic support to older adults aging in place. This partnership with NYSOFA helps us further that mission through an innovative initiative that we are incredibly proud to be part of,” Intuition Robotics CEO Dor Skuler said. “We’re thrilled to be working with New York State as our first state government partner and believe ElliQ will be able to effectively engage and encourage older adults in New York to be more independent, healthy and happy.”