NYSOFA combats aging adult loneliness with ElliQ robot

The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) and Intuition Robotics announced the continuation of their partnership that began in May 2022, and new data showing the positive effects of ElliQ, Intuition’s robotic companion for aging adults. 

Over the past year, NYSOFA has brought ElliQ to more than 800 New Yorkers to help combat loneliness, foster engagement, improve overall health and wellness, and support aging-in-place. 

According to data reports from the pilot program with NYSOFA, ElliQ was able to reduce loneliness by 95% in older adults using the platform. Users engaged with the robot often, with some users interacting with their ElliQ over 30 times per day, 6 days a week. More than 75% of these interactions were related to improving the users’ social, physical, and mental well-being. 

“We had high hopes for the efficacy of ElliQ, but the results that we’re seeing are truly exceeding our expectations,” Greg Olsen, Director of the New York State Office for the Aging, said. “The data speaks for itself, and the stories that we’re hearing from case managers and clients around the state have been nothing short of unbelievable. To see the impact this technology is making on the lives of our community members is incredibly moving and we can’t wait to see this program continue to grow.”

ElliQ is able to initiate conversation, suggest activities, and remember what its users tell it. The robot is designed to encourage and work with users to set and help achieve goals, and to convey empathy to build trust and drive engagement. 

“It has been a pleasure to work alongside local offices for the aging and partners to identify older adults who would most benefit from empathetic AI,” Dor Skuler, CEO and Co-Founder of Intuition Robotics, said. “ElliQ can’t make an impact on individuals until it has been invited into the home, and the case managers and staff on the ground have been integral in educating older adults about ElliQ, supporting installations, and facilitating introductions between our team and the clients directly. We’re excited to continue our work with NYSOFA and other aging agencies to increase the number of aging adults we can help.”

Since the program started, Intuition has added new features to ElliQ. For example, ElliQ can now guide users through museum exhibits and road trips and is equipped with mindfulness exercises led by a certified mindfulness instructor. The robot can also now record memories in a digital memoir and share them with family and friends. It also allows NYSOFA staff to send informational video messages about available resources. 

ElliQ is designed to alleviate the effects of loneliness or social isolation and connect users to their families and caregivers. Its technology combines psychology, behavioral sciences and advanced cognitive artificial intelligence capabilities to provide proactive and empathetic care.

ElliQ was designed in collaboration with Yves Béhar and his studio, fuseproject, and is the culmination of over five years of research and beta testing with older adults. Fuseproject has also helped Embodied develop Moxie, a companion robot designed to help children build social, emotional and cognitive skills.

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