The Elements Retirement Living village in Springwood outside of Brisbane has become the first in Australia to introduce Pepper – a robot designed by local start-up company Conpago to combat loneliness amongst residents.
How does it work?
The technology is based on Conpago’s Companion software, which takes the core features of a smartphone such as calling, text messages and calendar reminders and uses them to communicate with residents via conversation and a touch screen.
‘She’ has already been busy, reminding residents of their schedules and when to take medications, passing on community news and even leading them in dance and tai chi sessions.
The units are not cheap, costing up to $40,000 – but they are available for rent to villages and aged care facilities.
With research showing social isolation is the biggest factor on living longer and healthier, could Pepper prove key to keeping people connected?