Intuition Robotics Ltd. has unveiled the latest edition of its AI companion for older adults, ElliQ 3. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company said that the social robot has been proven to benefit seniors’ health, social connectedness, and independence.
The latest version of ElliQ is integrated with generative AI to bring the technology into seniors’ everyday lives, said Intuition Robotics. The company added that its $25 million in funding from August 2023 enabled its software and hardware updates.
Intuition Robotics said ElliQ’s new capabilities will help expand the availability and accessibility of the robot. They are intended to help the robot further enhance the independence and wellness of older adults and decrease feelings of loneliness.
“It’s astounding to see that the first people to live with and build long-term relationships with an AI are individuals in their 80s and 90s,” said Dor Skuler, co-founder and CEO of Intuition Robotics, in a release.
“Through this relationship, ElliQ is proving to be highly effective in reducing older adults’ sense of loneliness, improving health and independence, and increasing social connectedness,” he added. “The launch of ElliQ 3.0 allows us to reach more older adults and expand partnerships with government services for the aging and the healthcare ecosystem while offering valuable insights and context.”
Hardware upgrades prepare ElliQ 3 for scale
Intuition Robotics said it geared many of ElliQ 3’s hardware upgrades toward scaling quickly. The company plans to increase its manufacturing processes to meet the growing demand for its robot. Intuition Robotics collaborated on ElliQ 3’s updated design with Yves Behar’s design studio, Fuseproject.
The newest version of ElliQ is 1.3 lb. (0.58 kg) lighter than older versions and has a 36% smaller footprint. A lighter robot means that older adults will have an easier time handling it.
ElliQ 3 comes about a year after ElliQ 2.0. Some of ElliQ 3’s other hardware upgrades include:
An upgraded system architecture that leverages an octa-core system on chip (SoC) and a built-in, dual-core AI processing unit (APU), both powered by MediaTek
33% more RAM
Twice the amount of computing power and memory
A fully integrated screen, which can improve customer experience and system resilience
“By bringing our products and cutting-edge AI technology to ElliQ, we’re helping people in their 70s, 80s, and 90s experience the benefits of the latest innovations in computing,” stated Adam King, vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Business at MediaTek. “Our advanced processing and connectivity makes it easier for those using ElliQ to experience a more in-depth level of companionship.”
ElliQ 3 brings generative AI to aging populations
ElliQ 3’s hardware improvements pave the way for its software upgrades, which center around integrating generative AI capabilities. Large language models (LLMs) drive these new capabilities, which Intuition Robotics claimed can extend and enrich ElliQ’s conversations with older adults.
Generative AI provides context for many conversations, allowing ElliQ 3 users to discuss a large number of topics more naturally, said Intuition. It has also integrated LLM technology with its Relationship Orchestration Engine.
The Relationship Orchestration Engine makes real-time decisions regarding actions, scripted conversations, and, now, generative AI conversations. With LLM technology integrated, ElliQ can now fuse both content and memory, according to Intuition Robotics.
ElliQ 3 understands, classifies, and remembers information from scripted and open-ended conversations, explained the company. It also takes in non-spoken actions and choices through other modalities. This allows the robot to refer to this information in future conversations.
Any relevant information ElliQ gathers is maintained in a user profile, so the robot can follow up on new conversations, suggestions, and activities. ElliQ can use these capabilities to strengthen its relationship with the user or to promote social connectedness, Intuition Robotics said.
Generative AI also helps ElliQ 3 to do more activities with its users, said the company. The robot can paint or write poems with a user, which can contributes to the user’s cognitive wellness and creativity, it said. ElliQ 3 also features synchronized events, starting with Bingo, in which customers can participate in real time with others.
“Today’s older adults are harnessing the power of AI to transform their lives and embrace new technologies that bring companionship, knowledge, and connection into their daily routines,” said Rick Robinson, vice president and general manager of AgeTech Collaborative from AARP. “As we continue to combat the epidemic of loneliness among seniors, solutions like ElliQ play a vital role, offering not just innovation, but also a lifeline to a brighter, more connected future where our aging population can enjoy the full spectrum of opportunities that the Digital Age has to offer.”
To ensure safety, Intuition Robotics said it has developed and deployed “guardrail” mechanisms that automatically monitor and mediate conversations in real time. This helps the robot to better control the flow of conversation, decide when a context switch is appropriate, and avoid AI “hallucinations” or inappropriate responses.
Maintaining the things users already love about ElliQ
While ElliQ 3 comes with a host of new capabilities, Intuition Robotics said the newest version still maintains ElliQ’s personality. Through a combination of training, prompting, and scripting by ElliQ’s Character Design Team, the robot maintains its characteristic “empathy, curiosity, and humor,” it said.
Intuition Robotics asserted that this pre-built personality enables users “to benefit from the infinite possibilities of AI,” while the company can still create a safe space for a vulnerable population.
The company says that ElliQ is available to hundreds of thousands of older adults as a fully subsidized service. It’s available through government agencies, non-profit organizations, Medicaid Managed Care Organization providers, and healthcare payers.
Some of its partners include the New York State Office for the Aging, Inclusa (a Humana company), and the Area Agency on Aging of Broward County. It also includes new partners such as the Olympic Area Agency on Aging, Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels, and more.
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