Ro­bot adds pep­per to re­tired life

Sunday Mail - - NEWS -

A QUEENS­LAND aged-care home has in­tro­duced a $40,000 talk­ing ro­bot in a bid to com­bat lone­li­ness among res­i­dents.

Pep­per the friendly ro­bot can recog­nise faces and emo­tions, re­mind res­i­dents of their sched­ules or when to take med­i­ca­tion – or even lead them in a dance ses­sion. Res­i­dents say she – they’ve de­cided Pep­per is fe­male – is al­ready a much-loved mem­ber of El­e­ments Re­tired Liv­ing in Bris­bane.

In an Aus­tralian first, Bris­bane start-up tech com­pany Con­pago has de­signed robots to in­ter­act and en­ter­tain the el­derly in aged-care homes through­out the coun­try. Pep­per is the first to be placed.

The core of the sys­tem is the Con­pago Com­pan­ion, tablet­based soft­ware that takes the core fea­tures of a smart­phone and al­lows the ro­bot to en­gage with res­i­dents through con­ver­sa­tion and a touch screen.

Pic­ture: HOL­LIE ADAMS

OUT­SPO­KEN: Alex Turn­bull out­side the home of Mal­colm Turn­bull, right.

LOVED: Carol Sukkar with Pep­per the ro­bot.

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