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Care home Companionship – Reintroducing Pepper:
Launched in Japan in 2014, Pepper was introduced as a companion robot with an emphasis on the benefits it could provide through social interaction. Recently tested in care homes across the UK, new studies by the University of Bedfordshire, Middlesex University, and Advinia Health Care, found that after two weeks there was a small but positive impact on people’s mental health and a reduced feeling of loneliness.
The Caresses’ artificial intelligence allow robots like Pepper to engage in conversations, learn habits, and retain individual tastes. Researchers are now working to roll out the technology in care homes.
There are 1.4 million chronically lonely older people in England and many more across the rest of the UK, according to Charity Age UK.
Researchers have said that there are still some improvements to be made to the new technology and it is not intended to replace human care workers.