Meet Cutii: a Fully-Operated Robot Designed to Enrich Social Connection for Housebound Seniors
Richard Marshall is the Business Development Director for the company that has created Cutii, an autonomous robot created to enlarge social connection for seniors who want to age in place at home.
He describes some of the robot's functions, including
- autonomous, infrared sensor movement and ability to learn the living space in which it functions,
- voice-controlled as well as controllable by family who are outside the home, such as the senior's children, and
- additional applications such as an adept telemedicine feature and ability to do museum tours and cooking classes in real time.
Richard Marshall describes the goal in creating Cutii as a tool to combat loneliness for seniors. He reminds listeners that there's a tidal wave of people entertaining retirement as well as a growing problem of disconnection and loneliness in society, especially for seniors.
Therefore, they hope to use Cutii to connect people who want to age in place at home, to allow people to stay at home as long as possible while still communicating in a fuller way with the outside world.
He adds that they've deliberately designed it to not imitate a human; rather it is a fully-operated robot that moves along on wheels, is about five feet tall, and it is sturdy and accessible. He provides examples of its usefulness such as a senior's kids' ability to call their mother up and send Cutti to find her in the living space if they are concerned or just want to chat.
The kids can control Cutii remotely and find her and then talk with her. Conversely, the senior can control Cutti with their voice and tell it to come where they are for any need, including social connection with distance family and friends.
Richard Marshall also explains several design features and how it may serve well in an emergency yet also as an enrichment, for example, as a way to participate in a cooking class in real time. It is in the market now in France and has been successful and well-received.
He remarks that it's not YouTube on wheels, rather a newer more flexible way to offer live interactions when you are limited to being in your home. They are starting product trials in the U.S. and should be hitting the market in late 2020 and are ready to talk to channel partners in the U.S. now as well.
For more, see the web page at https://www.cutii.io/en/