Intuition Robotics has developed a device that will help bring families closer while helping older adults fulfill their goals of connection and engagement. The Israeli company has already received overwhelming positive feedback in London from older adults who said they were afraid of keyboards and computers but would definitely use the Ellie-Q device.
Ellie-Q Photo Credit: Intuition Robotics
In less than 69 years, Israel has become one of the leading high tech economies in the world from being an average agriculture country. In addition, 10 years ago, six out of the top ten leading companies worldwide were from the energy industry. Today, only one is an energy company while the rest are high-tech.
Dor Skuler, who is the CEO and Co-Founder of Intuition Robotics based in Israel, said: “The CBC clinic have proved there is a direct link between loneliness, isolation, dementia, depression and even mortality and all of these can be accelerated when people feel lonely or isolated.”
This is why Intuition Robotics has created a device called Ellie-Q, which will assist in bringing families closer while helping older adults fulfill their goals of connection and engagement. Ellie-Q is not a robot but a device that looks a little like a lamp shade with a small screen that can be linked with a TV or larger screen. A live demonstration at the Jerusalem Convention Center last week where more than 6,200 delegates from 82 countries gathered proved the device has a strong sense of humor.
Skuler addressed it by her name Ellie, while Q was added because EQ is emotionally intelligence and because he says it sounds like Ellie Cute. “What do you do Ellie-Q?” he asked. “I can send messages to your loved ones, play videos, start a video call, play music and suggest activities…” which is when Skuler jumped in and said to the audience: “This is very important because older people need ideas to do something.”
Ellie-Q understands the situation and wakes up the person to do something suggesting a game or a walk in the park. Most products for the older aging adult fail because they don’t focus on the objective. But how does an older person get to grips with a robot like device? Skuler explained that “older adults can learn anything but it takes them longer and requires more energy.”
But he insists Ellie-Q is so approachable because it contains a voice base interface and uses natural communication. It breaks barriers because it is sensitive to movement, human gestures and body language. Until now, we have always taught ourselves how to use the technology. First there were those who learned how to code, then more learned how to click. Still more learned how to swipe. But people always had to teach themselves or learn how to use the technology. “But with Ellie-Q,” Skuler said, “it is a natural communication frame work where the technology learns how to speak to humans. So if Ellie-Q is shy she will look down, if she is happy she will be bubbly. But one will always identify her gestures and her attitude because it mimics the way humans interact with each other.”
Dor Skuler Photo Credit: Intuition Robotics
Humans feel emotions that are very real because that is how our brains are wired. We know how to interpret gestures and turn them into very real emotions that we feel. So Skuler is working with leading world professors and experts to implement their studies and research into this product to achieve this.
But whatever this new brand new science will do for the device, one cannot have a deep meaningful discussion. It is not supposed to be a best friend or buddy but an active aging companion.
Ellie-Q literally learns the difference between people by using algorithms. Skuler received overwhelming positive feedback at the Design Museum in London late last year from older adults who said they were afraid of keyboards and computers but would definitely use Ellie-Q when it becomes available.
Skuler was one of many innovators in Jerusalem who presented his product at the largest tech and medical conference ever seen in the Middle East last week where portfolio companies, multinationals and other investors met through the OurCrowd Global Investor Summit.
As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “The countries that will succeed are those that can innovate.”