The South Florida Institute on Aging (SoFIA) has announced it is seeking local seniors as volunteers to pair with a proactive social companion robot for older adults, called ElliQ®, winner of the 2018 CES Best of Innovation Award.
At its recent Aging in South Florida Symposium, SoFIA announced it is partnering with ElliQ® creator Intuition Robotics, a provider of digital companion technologies backed by investors including Toyota Research Institute, AI Ventures, Samsung NEXT, and iRobot. This initiative extends the roll-out of Intuition Robotics’ Insiders Program, sourcing volunteers to pilot ElliQ® amongst its target audience.
ElliQ® encourages a connected, active and engaged lifestyle for older adults while making technology accessible and intuitive to use. Providing a friendly, intelligent and inquisitive presence, ElliQ supports users with tips and advice, responds to questions, surprises with suggestions, and becomes a solid companion through this stage of life.
“Researchers have found that loneliness can be as damaging to your health as smoking 15 cigarettes per day,” said Peter Kaldes, President and CEO of the South Florida Institute on Aging. “ElliQ® has the potential to make a real difference in maintaining the physical and mental health of older adults who are living alone. South Florida is a preview of the country’s aging demographics and we are excited to work with Intuition Robotics to facilitate this focus group.”
Seniors participating in the Insiders Program will have the opportunity to engage with ElliQ®, enabling such factors as installation, feature performance, and customer support to be assessed in real-life setting.
ElliQ® has successfully been testing with beta users aged 62-97 in the Bay Area for the past year. Key findings included beta users’ feedback that ElliQ is a new entity in their lives, highlighted by its proactive capabilities and its underlying persona.
“There is a widespread misconception that seniors don’t want to use technology, when in reality, they are extremely interested in the benefits it can offer but have not found a path to mastering various devices,” said Intuition Robotics Director of Business Development Brian Shulman, who is training SoFIA staff on the device. “ElliQ offers an innovative and engaging way to bridge this divide. With its senior technology services, SoFIA has been at the forefront of finding new ways to help older adults use technology to enhance their lives.”
Candidates for the program will be older adults who are tech-forward in their outlook, live alone and who are healthy but socially isolated. Those who wish to participate in the Insider’s Program should contact SoFIA at 954-484-7117 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
A non-profit think and act tank, the South Florida Institute on Aging (SoFIA) creates planning and development strategies to deliver socio-economic support programs for South Florida seniors that can also serve as a model for other communities with aging populations. For more than 50 years, SoFIA has provided innovative services tailored to meet seniors’ caregiving and respite, civic engagement and economic security needs. In 2018, SoFIA’s 500 experienced senior volunteers provided over a quarter of a million hours to serve nearly 2,000 residents including: veterans who received the mentoring of fellow veterans; seniors, disabled adults and caregivers who were enabled to live independently through caregiving and companionship programs; children in underserved communities that saw a 90 percent improvement in literacy skills through the Foster Grandparent program; and other non-profits that benefitted from experienced consultants. Visit www.theSoFIA.org for more information.
About Intuition Robotics
Intuition Robotics is developing digital companion technologies that brings hardware to life through proactive, context-aware, multi-modal and persona-based experiences. The company’s cognitive AI platform, Q, understands the environment, makes cognitive decisions using proprietary algorithms and executes multi-modal expressions that proactively and intuitively engage users.
The company was founded in 2016 and is based in Israel with offices in San Francisco. Intuition Robotics’ investors include: Toyota AI Ventures, Samsung NEXT, iRobot and Venture Capital firms from California, Israel, Japan and China. The company’s first product is ElliQ® – an award winning proactive social robot for older adults, currently available for pre-order. ElliQ is aimed at keeping older adults active and engaged by connecting them to their families and the outside world. ElliQ won the 2018 CES Best of Innovation Award, a large coveted research grant with Center for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (CABHI) led by Baycrest, AI Breakthrough Award, Fast Company Design Award and more.
ElliQ® images available here.