In our fast-paced, technology-driven society, it’s becoming harder and harder for people to care for their elderly or disabled loved ones. This is where companion robots come into play! Companion robots, a type of elder care robot, are designed to provide non-medical caregiving assistance as well as companionship to those who need it most.
There are many different types of companion robots available on the market today, with a wide variety of features and benefits. Whether you are a community owner or a family caregiver, in this article, we list the top 10 companion robots that you can purchase for your loved one right now!
What can companion robots do?
A companion robot is designed for the purpose of creating real or apparent companionship for humans. These robots offer vital social interaction to older adults, individuals with disabilities, and young children.
Social interaction is an important part of a healthy lifestyle as a senior. Isolation and loneliness have been proven to lead to depression and even dementia.
To prevent these problems, robotics companies are manufacturing advanced companion robots that offer the social interaction that these elderly individuals need. This can be through robotic pets or Mobile Robotic Telepresence (MRT) systems, which are essentially just automated screens on wheels.
Robotic pets typically come in the form of a cat or dog and, in some circumstances, have been more effective companions for seniors compared to real pets.
MRTs give families an effortless way to communicate with their loved ones. The robot offers a hands-off approach to doing a video call with your loved one so that they don’t have to figure out how to work it.
Read more: Elder Care Robots to Care For The Elderly
Top 9 Companion Robots Available Right Now
UBTECH’s Alpha Mini
Alpha Mini is a highly portable, intelligent companion robot that brings various interactions, expressions, and functionality. It offers voice interaction, 4G LTE connectivity, face recognition, and object recognition.
This little companion bot can do anything from dancing to kung fu. The adorable LCD eyes allow it to show emotion and expressions, making it feel like a true friend.
Ubtech is a leading manufacturer and developer in robotics whose products are used by organizations like NASA, Google, and Apple!
Base Cost: $1,000
Aido is on a mission to improve the quality of life for humans of all ages with affordable, easy-to-use robotics and automation products. This robot is the next generation of service robots that are specifically designed for households, hospitality, and healthcare.
He can help with household chores, handle your schedule, and keep your home connected and safe. Your loved one can:
- Play games and watch movies using Aido’s projector and speakers
- Experience interactive learning through sound effects, graphics, and movements by asking Aido for recipes, educational courses, and how-to videos
- Effortlessly dim the lights or set medication reminders through voice control features
- Aido can proactively monitor lifestyle patterns and recommend activities for older adults to stay active and socially engaged
- Stay safe through Aido’s home patrolling, powerful sensors, synchronization with modern security systems, and smart intruder alerts
Aido is expected to ship in Q3 of 2021, but you can preorder him now to secure your first companion.
Base Cost: $500
Olly Robot With Feelings
Olly, the companion robot with feelings, is the first-ever home robot that comes with an evolving personality that adapts to each individual it interacts with. Advanced machine learning technology allows Olly to do more than just respond to commands. He proactively assists you with your day-to-day routine by remembering your habits and setting reminders.
His AI system, created by Emotech’s AI researchers and neuroscientists, allows Olly to provide a personalized experience through emotional understanding and real-world adapting.
Olly will understand your loved one’s patterns and schedules, understand this information, and then act on this information before you or your elderly loved one ever has to ask. He proactively learns in two ways: user-defined and contextual awareness.
For an example of Olly’s true ability, you can simply ask Olly about the weather in the morning. He will remember this and tell you the weather forecast automatically the next morning.
Olly is one of the most affordable, most convenient, and most advanced companion robots currently being developed. You can preorder your own Olly and support the development team by going to their Indiegogo campaign.
Base Cost: $549
Wide-eyed and flat-faced, Buddy is a friend, emotional companion robot that protects your home, offers assistance, sets reminders, and creates social connections.
Buddy expresses various emotions, including a cheerful welcome when you wake up or a grumpy disposition if you don’t spend much time with it.
The adorable robot is well-suited to assisting seniors who are losing autonomy or cognitive function, whether at home or in a senior care community. Beyond the comforting presence throughout the day, it provides security, enforces social connection, and meets the need for cognitive stimulation.
He can play music, remind seniors of important phone calls, and display useful information, such as the news.
Base Cost: $1,000
PARO is an advanced and interactive robot that allows patients to receive animal therapy without the need for live animals in hospitals and extended care facilities. Paro has been found to reduce stress for patients and caregivers and stimulates social interaction between those patients and caregivers.
Paro has five kinds of advanced seniors, which allow it to perceive people and its environment. It can recognize light and dark, whether or not he is being petted, and which direction a voice is coming from. He also is able to recognize certain words, such as his name.
Paro has learning capabilities, meaning it behaves in a way that the user prefers. It can remember people by their voices and behave differently depending on who is interacting with it.
PARO has a high price but is one of the only certified robots as a therapeutic medical device.
Base Cost: $6,000
Jibo is a visually appealing robot that boasts a sleek and shiny design, allowing it to fit into your home perfectly. Jibo has sensors that allow him to “feel” when he’s touched; he has voice recognition software and can assist your elderly loved one with various daily tasks that they might have difficulty with.
Its patented three-axis motor system allows it to express a wide range of human-like emotions through sophisticated body movements. It has two cameras that allow it to monitor its environment, learn people’s faces, and take photos on your command.
With its touch screen, your loved one can do video calls with you no matter how far away you live; they can show the news, set reminders, and interact with engaging brain games.
Jibo can recognize advanced visual and auditory senses, allowing it to offer help before you even having to ask. Nurses, doctors, and caregivers have stressful and demanding jobs.
It can be easy to forget a pill or administer the wrong amount of medicine. Jibo can notify your loved one and the caregiver when they need medicine, need to exercise, or are just feeling lonely.
If your elderly loved one is choosing to age in place and is isolated from other people, Jibo is a great companion and robotic friend. It goes beyond just detect health issues and ensuring seniors stay healthy.
Its advanced AI technology allows it to provide interactive and effective social engagement, preventing loneliness and dementia.
Base Cost: $899
ElliQ is a friendly and intelligent companion robot that provides a caring, friendly companion for older adults. ElliQ is always there, offering tips and advice, responding to questions, surprising your loved ones with suggestions, giving updates on the weather and news, setting reminders, and more.
Specially designed for seniors, this elder care robot is dedicated to creating a magical relationship with everyone it interacts with. This device can create truly impactful and meaningful conversations and interactions with your loved ones to keep them company.
In this way, ElliQ is able to ward off dementia, depression, and senior isolation. Features include intelligent conversation, health reminders, music streaming, curated videos, morning motivation, news and weather, cognitive games, calendar appointments, and interesting facts.
ElliQ proactively learns about senior citizens and engages them in personalized activities and conversations. As you get to know her, she gets to know you and is then able to become more tailored to your individual needs and preferences.
She understands and remembers each user by analyzing their voice, gaze, and touch. This allowed the companion robot to feel generally more natural and less like a robot. She forms a personality over time by understanding user communication and then intuitively tweaking her body movements and language.
One major concern of elder care robots is security. Rightfully so, people are concerned about their data staying secure and their private lives staying private. The team behind ElliQ has implemented industry-leading security architecture to ensure all of your data is safe and private. To protect your information, ElliQ is the only one who has access to the information she collects. The team has committed to never monetizing on personal data in any way.
You can pick up your very own ElliQ social robot by joining their recently expanded insiders program, which offers free in-home installation.
Base Cost: $1,499
iPal Humanoid Social Robot
iPal, developed by Avatar Mind, is a humanoid caregiving robot that is designed to serve the elderly as a social companion, educator, and safety monitor. The mobile robot is mounted on wheels that allow it to move around throughout your home or community.
It can sing, dance, cheat, and provide essential assistance with daily activities. It offers obstacle avoidance software, a built-in camera, microphones, and WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities.
Family caregivers can interact with their loved ones from long distances by controlling iPal remotely. The robot also provides drug reminders, emergency alert services, conversations, entertainment, and more.
Base Cost: $4,120
Aibo Robotic Therapy Pet
There have been multiple studies showing the positive effects of therapeutic pets for seniors. These robots, especially Aibo, provide lifelike companions for seniors who might be depressed or isolated.
Aibo, created by Sony, offers a variety of advanced technology, including showing physical signs of body temperature changes and sparkling eyes that speak volumes. Bursting with life and energy, Aibo is sure to put a smile on your loved one’s face.
Curiosity is at the heart of Aibo and drives him to offer new, fun, and engaging experiences. Over time, this curiosity shapes Aibo’s unique personality and behavior, making every Aibo unique.
Aibo offers highly variable communicative capacities, lifelike gestures, responsive interfaces, interactive behavior, and more. Voice-recognition technology allows him to align his behavior to different seniors by responding to linguistic cues.
Over time, your loved one’s approach to raising Aibo will shape its personality, behavior, and knowledge, creating a unique friend for years to come. You can even teach it tricks!
Base Cost: $1,800
With the increasing elder care gap, companion robots may be able to help. Some experts estimate that by 2050, 20% of households will have a robot for use as an elder care assistant.
The latest generation of these robots can provide much-needed companionship and physical assistance for those with limited mobility. In this blog post, we compiled a list of the top companion robot models available now so you know what type might best suit your needs and budget.