In February 2019 I visited Shintomi Nursing Home in Tokyo Japan that utilized over 20 different types of care bots. I had previously introduced you to Pepper, one of their care bots that is able to entertain and lead exercise classes.
This past week, I read about Grace who was created during Covid with the aim to reduce social isolation. Grace has also skills as well and is able to respond and ask questions and they are also able to take bio readings such as temperature.
Grace looks much more human that Pepper and they seem to be more advanced as well. The Montreal Jewish General Hospital has launched a pilot project to see how well they can assist seniors in combating isolation. The isolation is not as a result of living at home but interesting, for seniors currently living in a long term care residence.
Grace is able to speak Mandarin, Cantonese and English and unlike Pepper has facial expressions, including the ability to look surprized, happy and sad.
Grace is not replacing staff and given today’s general staff shortages across the country, they are being piloted to see if they can address isolation, initially designed for those isolated due to COVID. Robotics has a place in caregiving; from assistance with lifting patients, mobility aides, transfer tools to engaging with those living in a long term care setting or living at home and not able to access community resources.
I look forward to meeting Grace- up close and personal.