A new care-giving robot could enable elderly people to live at home for longer and alleviate pressure on pressure on nursing home staff.
Trinity College has teamed up with charity ALONE to unveil Stevie- the first robot of its kind in Ireland.
As well as performing functional tasks, Stevie is the first prototype robot designed to work in assisted care facilities – and can interact socially with its dependents.
He could be used by elderly people living at home, or help alleviate pressure on nursing home and care staff.
The friendly looking robot can perform tasks like turning lights on and off, taking action in a case of emergency and acting a reminder:
The Trinity Engineers behind the robot have teamed with charity ALONE - which supports older people - to unveil the robot.
— Kim Buckley (@KiiimBuckley) November 13, 2017
One of their service users Tony got to try Stevie out.
“I was wondering would the robot sound like Hal from ‘2001 A Space Odyssey’ or would he be like Kryten from Red Dwarf or maybe Robocop,” he said.
“But no, it was quite fun, I find him a very personable little character and I mean he is very user friendly.”
For anyone worried about robots taking over, the man behind the project, Conor McGinn says Stevie has a kill button:
“For robots it makes sense that we have ways to turn them off,” he said.
“Even if it is not necessary I think for people to be able to trust the technology it is important that they understand that if it is not behaving in a way in which they are happy with or that they like that there is an easy and obvious way in which they can stop it.”
The team has recently secured funding from Enterprise Ireland and aims to have the robot market ready by the year 2021.