CURE FOR LONELINESS? – Spain trials robot that cares for elderly people living alone

BARCELONA City Council have announced that they will be conducting pilot test with a robot to study how it could improve the health and morale of elderly people in Spain who live alone. 

Releasing a statement on their innovative plans this morning (January 25), the Council stated that they will evaluate the experience of elderly residents who will take part in the study, both before the robot arrives and afterwards.

Programmed with user-sensitive data, the Council hope to determine the extent that the robots can improve the quality of life and well-being of the ageing population. They also want to see if the robot can reduce feelings of isolation and boost their health through audio that serves to keep them company and make reminders, such as when to take their medication. 

The personal robot will be trialled on twenty elderly residents from February of this year, with four of the androids being used where they will move from homes every two months until February 2021.

If the results of the study are positive, the City Council will study the possibility of expanding the project and expanding the use of the robot to benefit the wider population in Spain. 

The project, which has been developed by the Lleida based company Grup Saltó, was one of the two proposals that were chosen by the City Council  for the contest ‘How to improve the quality of life of the elderly through technology’. As Euro Weekly News understands, Grup Saltó were funded with €100,000 to pilot the project. 

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Written by

Isha Sesay