Over 800 older adults in New York State are being provided with robot companions to combat loneliness and social isolation. Now the sort of robots that move about, but voice operated smart technology designed to interact with people living alone. ElliQ, developed by Israel based Intuition Robotics, and distributed by the New York State Office for the Aging, has been described as a more pro-active version of digital assistants such as Alexa or Siri. Through artificial intelligence it builds up context in relationships with its users, building information as the base for follow up conversations. It is designed to provide support through daily check ins, medical reminders, help with wellness goals and physical activity. Claimed to have shown “unprecedented engagement levels with older adults”, its users have an average of 20 daily interactions”. (Image shows the third generation of Amazon’s Echo Dot, smart speaker with with Alexa)

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