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Silicon Valley Introduces ‘Robots-as-a-Service’ for Home Care

Posted on Friday, July 22, 2016 8:17 PM

A Silicon Valley entrepreneur has partnered with a home care company to create a robot companion for every senior. “Our belief is that personal consumer robots will be everywhere in the next 10 to 15 years,” Thuc Vu, co-founder and CEO of Santa Clara, California-based OhmniLabs, told Home Health Care News. “We want to help with that.”

Vu’s creation of the robots will provide seniors with companionship and easy access to the robot’s screen that has two-way video chatting capabilities. This unique addition allows for the seniors’ family members to login to the robot remotely and check on their loved ones.

Above all, Ohmni Lab’s robots can help combat senior isolation, Vu explained. The robot can sit at the kitchen table while he or she eats, allowing the family member to join their loved one for a meal.

These robots have plenty of advantages over other video-chatting technologies like iPads, Vu said. To start, seniors have to hold iPads up when they use them to video chat, a move that can be “very clunky for them.” Additionally, seniors may neglect to charge their iPads regularly, or they may misplace it in a different room.

“We’ve heard these things over and over again,” Vu said. However, the seniors won’t forget to charge the Ohmni Lab’s robots because they’re battery-powered.
The robots are lightweight and can be considered “a nice piece of furniture that will fit nicely in the home,” Vu said. Ohmni Labs also designed the robots to be uniquely affordable, Vu said.

Additionally, Home Care Assistance of North America will work solely on piloting the robots. This company has 5,000 employees that assist more than 20,000 families over 100 locations across the United States, Canada and Australia.

In the future, more additions will be built into the medical devices on the robots. Therefore, seniors will be able to check their blood pressure, oxygen levels and much more from the privacy of their own homes.

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