Senior Care Robot Deserves a Hug

Kate Freeman
September 15, 2012

It would be difficult to keep yourself from hugging this helpful robot named Hector. He was designed by Smart Homes, a company based in Netherlands, for CompanionAble, a program that uses technology to help senior citizens live independently.

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Hector is an in-home caregiver for elderly people who have mild cognitive impairment. It provides reminders for everyday tasks, like taking medications, calling people back and storing grocery lists. For individuals experiencing occasional memory loss, it's no doubt useful to have Hector collect wallet and keys. Hector can even detect falls and respond to verbal commands. He's like a walking, talking smartphone, with a much larger touch screen and smarter "brain."

A series of live-in tests were conducted to see how Hector would interact with the people he cares for. Although, there's still more work to be done on Hector before he's released to the public, reports that all test subjects thought Hector was helpful and those that were frightened of the bot at first eventually came around. (Note: There have been many other bots that are much scarier-looking -- although not for caregiving -- but one, in fact, was also named HECTOR.)

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Hector has been making waves since the first iteration four years ago. Last December, Hector was selected to meet the EU president at the European Innovation Convention in Brussels, and was later awarded 7.8 million euros from the EU Seventh Framework Program, according to Forbes.

SEE ALSO: This Cute Robot Helps Children With Autism Socialize

Do you know someone who could use Hector? How much would you pay for Hector? Tell us in the comments.

BONUS: 10 Amazing Real-Life Robots

1. The Cubinator

We met The Cubinator for the first time at the 2010 World Maker Faire. The robot currently holds the Guinness world record for fastest machine solve of a Rubik's cube. Pete Redmond, who developed the robot for the final project of his master's degree, says that its solve time averages about 25 seconds. Webcams in the robot's eyes detect the colors on the cube and the machine solves the puzzle by using an algorithm to find the fewest moves. It also has has a sense of humor, shouting "oh dear!" when it occasionally drops the cube.

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This story originally published on Mashable here.