“For social companion robots, fighting isolation & loneliness is a core mission
Loneliness is a mutual experience worldwide
As Artificial Intelligence and robotics advanced, social companion robots started to surface. Shaped like a human, animal or entirely superficial with variation in size, these are able to perform many different tasks and interact with humans while coping with the natural surroundings.
In near future, they’re likely to assist every parent in the kitchen, can even support a guard dog in keeping the house safe, teach the children and young to support their elderly. All in all, they’re here to stay and replace that typical imaginary friend of yours.
The lonesomeness paradox
Single-person households and non-shared dinner paradox is rising across the world. More or less 10% of all Brits feel secluded almost every day for which government of London appointed a “minister of loneliness” back in January 2018, marking the first EU nation to do so. Then in the U.S, the situation is no less than an epidemic as labelled by The New York Times, with rising number of lone individuals in the state.
In Japan, the hype of new-age and future generation resulted in a number of average people from two to one back in 2012. The NLI Research Institute predicted that by 2020, solo living would become a norm in Japan and that’s already happening as more and more individual deaths are being reported, these deceased are known as kodokushi and what’s worse is the growing number of people taking pride in the concept.
Although no robot or AI counterpart can replace human, a friendly and rather “cute” looking robot is better than having no one at all. With this, let’s have a look at the alternatives already in the market with some having doctor’s apps integrated for medical diagnosis.
This humanoid robot is a height of a schoolchild that can make eye contact, perform lambada dance, crack friendly jokes and navigate throughout the place. This little social companion robot was introduced back in 2016 in two Belgian hospitals as receptionists. It can recognise basic human emotions, respond perfectly per human moods and to their queries. More than a hundred stores in Japan today have deployed Pepper to greet, inform and amuse their customers.
Luvozo PBC originated back in 2013 with a focus of improving quality of life for the elderly and individuals with certain disabilities. In July 2015, the company tested its flagship product; the robotic caretaker SAM in one of the leading community for elderly in Washington D.C.
The human-sized robot counterpart has the best smile with cutting-edge technology and a human touch which caters to non-medical and frequent check-in on the residents. It has significantly reduced cost of care, enhanced patient’s satisfaction and perhaps the most futuristic example of doctor’s apps.
So you’re travelling abroad and want to hug your child as she performs during the school play, no worries as Lynx the robot can do it for you. It has been introduced by Ubtech; a Chinese robotics company.When enabling the Avatar Mode of the robot through the Lynx official smart app, the robot’s able to see, hear and respond to your queries and gestures in the most appropriate manner.Its touch sensors allow the robot to detect light, movement and respond to human touch.
Lynx also have video recording and surveillance feature which makes it an excellent companion for home security. Users can also sync it with Amazon Alexa which allows it to respond to different commands such as play music, browse show time features, check traffic conditions, weather and latest news beats.
The French robot with a flat face and wide eyes has already met the high society as well as assisted Emmanuel Macron; the French president at Viva tech event in 2017. It’s all set to become everyone’s favourite family member with amazing security features as well as an excellent kitchen assistant.
The growing emotional attachment of humans and robots led to one question, can both be friends forever and whether it can put an end to lonesomeness! It’s yet to answer.