Intuition Robotics, a startup pioneering social companion technologies, has developed Elli•Q, an artificial intelligence robot companion that aims to keep older adults active and engaged.
Elli•Q connects older adults with family and friends by making interactions with technology simple. Elli•Q’ s social robot companion suggests a variety of digital content to keep its owner stimulated, including news, music, TED talks and audiobooks, while also suggesting activities in the physical world.
“We wanted to create a companion that helps older adults keep active and engaged by intuitively connecting them with family and friends and help them overcome the complexity of the digital world," Intuition Robotics CEO and founder Dor Skuler, told IBTimes. "Elli•Q will help independent users discover engaging online content, adhere to their daily schedule and stay physically active."
Elli•Q uses “Natural Communication” such as body language that conveys emotion, speech interface, sounds, lights and images to express herself. That means Elli•Q is emotive, autonomous and easily understood. By using machine learning, Elli•Q learns the preferences, behavior, and personality of her owner, and recommends activities based on history and recommendations by family.
The design for Elli•Q was created in collaboration with Yves Béhar, founder and principal designer of the design firm fuseproject. “Elli•Q was designed to be discrete without looking like a traditional robot. Yves Behar’s unique design allows for intuitive interaction with people,” Skuler said.
It is comprised of two separate elements: the Elli•Q robot companion, which conveys gestures animated by movement, speech, sound and light; and a separate screen that functions in a display, which can be attached on an easel, or simply in the user’s hand. The LED lighting display and range of motion is used to convey emotional expressions and give the device a friendly and warm personification.
“Elli•Q makes the name appropriate in that it’s not a name of a person we know. It’s the name of a new entity in the home, and yet it’s relatable. Additionally, the initials EQ mean emotional intelligence,” Skuler said.
As of right now, Elli•Q can only understand English, but Skuler says the company plans to teach her new languages over time. Skuler didn't reveal how much Elli•Q will cost but said the company plans to make the product as affordable as other sophisticated consumer electronics products.
Skuler believes, Elli•Q will become an integral part of a user’s whole day by making suggestions and providing reminders for events, in addition to showing pictures, a communication platform, and a media consumption platform.
Intuition Robotics will start a trial phase in the homes of older adults in the Bay Area, starting in February.