A South-West startup, Service Robotics Ltd is launching a unique solution to older adult independent living later this year. The solution, the brainchild of co-founders Rob Parkes and Tim Morgan, is called GenieConnect® and combines a companion robot called Genie with a 24×7 video Care Centre and specialised software for person-centred engagement.
Service Robotics is based in Bristol, on the same UWE campus as the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, and is currently raising funds on the crowd funding platform Crowdcube, on which they reached their funding target within the first 2 days of the 30 day campaign.
“This is a huge endorsement of the idea and the people behind GenieConnect®, and I think we all know the market is there” said Rob Parkes. “GenieConnect® is an idea whose time has come, and we encourage anyone with an interest in independent living for older adults to look at our campaign.”
The funds from the current campaign will enable the Service Robotics team to deploy a pilot project in the UK, with up to 150 robots being issued to pre-qualified triallists, to verify and fine-tune the service ahead of a commercial launch later in 2019. There will be at least 3 pilot regions, including the West of England, East Anglia, Cornwall and one other yet to be determined. “Government grants have already been awarded from the European Regional Development Fund in 2 of these regions, and talks are at an advanced stage with a County Council in one of the other regions” said Parkes. Pilot partners include some of the largest affordable housing and care providers in the UK and respected research organisations.
The pilot project will allow the GenieConnect® user to access a 24 x 7 Care Centre via video link on the face of the robot, using a simple voice command. The Service Robotics Care agent with chat with the user and provide information, assistance and referrals as necessary, to enable independent living for the user in their own home for longer.
As part of the solution that will be deployed in the pilot, Service Robotics are working with the UK’s leading developer of software for the personalised engagement of older adults. RemindMecare (aka ReMe, http://www.remindmecare.com) is a unique app that delivers activities, support and therapy to improve person-centred care for the elderly and people with dementia.
Service robotics will also partner with best-in-class security and privacy organisations to ensure that GenieConnect® users are safe from malicious hacks or privacy breaches.
But Parkes is even more excited about the future of the solution. “The pilot will be ground-breaking but we have much more to come from our technology roadmap later in the year. We expect to integrate the solution with smart home and smart health systems so we can ensure the health of the user and even predict health events before they happen. The circle of carers including family and friends can easily check on the user and be notified of any concerns according to the “mutual consent principle”. GenieConnect® is a realisation of the best of both technology and human care delivered in the form of a user friendly companion.
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