ElliQ, a robotic companion for the elderly, now available for pre-order

Intuition Robotics has announced that its first product, ElliQ, an AI-powered social companion robot for the elderly, is now available to pre-order.

Subject to limited availability with an expected shipping date of summer 2019, ElliQ is designed to help the older generation to have a better quality of life by acting as a social companion, keeping users active and engaged and keeping them connected with loved ones to avoid social isolation. 

Although only just available to pre-order, ElliQ won the CES Best of Innovation Award in the Smart Home category in January 2018 and successfully completed beta testing with seniors aged 62-97 in the San Francisco Bay Area throughout last year. 

The ElliQ unit is a robotic head that sits in a magnetic charging dock. In addition to the unit itself, there is a dual-camera tablet that sits next to the ElliQ in the dock that can be used to display text messages, video calls, photos, videos etc. 

Using Intuition Robotics’ intellectual AI platform ‘Q’, the robot learns the habits, personality and interests of the senior meaning it can recommend appealing digital content to them such as music, videos or articles that could be of interest.  

Utilising its built-in microphones and cameras, the ElliQ can read the room to determine what the user is doing at that time. It then uses that information to decide how to act. If the user is sitting idle, it will try to verbally engage by suggesting things such as doing some exercise, telling them a joke or asking if they would like to hear some music. 

Until now, modern technology has been a somewhat scary thought to older people with them becoming frustrated at the complexity of different technologies. However, ElliQ makes technology more accessible and easier to use giving them access to useful online content and services. 

To make the robot more personable, it moves its head in the way a person would when they are talking, and it also uses LED lights to create a “face” on the ElliQ. 

The device can also be used to schedule tasks or set reminders which is useful when taking lots of medication, often the case with the elderly. And if ElliQ thinks that the user wants to be left alone, such as if they have guests over, the robot will simply display reminders and tasks on the tablet without interrupting. 

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