The pandemic created isolation for many people and an epidemic of loneliness, especially for the elderly. One organization in New York is hoping companion robots will help.
The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) is bringing smart technology to 800 senior citizens to help keep them from being lonely. They will be given "ElliQ" robots made by the Israeli company Intuition Robotics.
The robot is a bit like Siri or Alexa, only it’s a little more proactive, and can actually engage in small conversations and make jokes. These personal assistants are also programmed to do all sorts of things including reminding people to take their medication, helping them to get in touch with family and friends and hiring a ride via Uber so they can get out of the house.
ElliQ has a "face" with a microphone and speakers, and it will turn towards you and light up. It also includes a tablet for making video calls, photos etc.
It’s sad that so many people are alone without family to visit them, but hopefully this helps relieve some of the loneliness.
Source: New York Post