ElliQ Companion Robot Reduces Loneliness by 95%, Finds New York State Pilot Project

Intuition Robotics reports successful pilot project of AI companion robot with New York State Office of the Aging.

Intuition Robotics

ElliQ uses AI and is designed to engage with older adults.
ElliQ, Intuition Robotics' system designed to provide social engagement for older adults, has effectively combated isolation in a trial with the New York State Office of the Aging.

Older adults need social engagement to maintain physical, emotional, and mental health. Intuition Robotics and the New York State Office for the Aging today announced that their partnership is continuing. They also reported that a pilot of the ElliQ robot effectively reduced loneliness by 95% and led to high levels of engagement.

Loneliness has long been a concern for older adults, but the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the epidemic of isolation, according to a recent advisory from the U.S. Surgeon General.

Over the past year, the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) and Intuition Robotics have provided ElliQ to more than 800 New Yorkers to determine the efficacy of artificial intelligence in providing companionship to older adults. The goal was to combat loneliness, foster engagement, improve health and wellness, and support aging in place.

ElliQ engages older adults

Intuition Robotics said it has designed ElliQ to be “a proactive care companion for older adults.” The robotic companion can initiate conversations, suggest activities, and remember what users tell it, said the Israel-based startup.

In addition, ElliQ can encourage users to set goals and work with them to achieve them, said Intuition Robotics. The company explained that it is designed to convey empathy to create trust, drive engagement, and help change behavior.

Over the past year, Intuition Robotics has added features, such as ElliQ taking users to museum exhibits and road trips, painting with ElliQ using generative AI, and exercises led by a certified mindfulness instructor. The social robot can also record life memories in a digital memoir and share them with family and friends.

ElliQ also enables NYSOFA staffers to send informational video messages about available resources, said Intuition Robotics. The company has won several awards for its work with ElliQ, including Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies and the CES Best of Innovation award.

NYSOFA ElliQ engagement analysis

Click on image to enlarge. Source: Intuition Robotics and NYSOFA

New York residents see reduced loneliness

According to data reports from the pilot, ElliQ users throughout New York have also demonstrated high levels of engagement consistently over time, interacting with their ElliQ over 30 times per day, six days a week. More than 75% of these interactions are related to improving the older adults’ social, physical, and mental well-being.

In one example, Lucinda, an older adult in Harlem, participates in four activities with ElliQ per day on average, including stress reduction exercises twice daily and a cognitive game every day. She also works out with ElliQ once a week.

“It has been evident over the course of our pilot program that ElliQ enriches and improves the lives of the older adults we serve,” said Becky Preve, executive director of the Association on Aging in New York (AgingNY).

“The pandemic encouraged us to open our eyes and think of innovative ways to deliver care to our clients,” she recalled. “Partnering with an AI platform like ElliQ fits our strategy perfectly and I’m looking forward to getting ElliQ devices into the homes of many more older New Yorkers.”

The Association on Aging in New York supports and advocates for New York’s mostly county-based Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and works with a network of organizations that promote independence, preserve dignity, and provide support for residents of New York State as they age.

More NYSOFA ElliQ engagement analysis

Click on image to enlarge. Source: Intuition Robotics and NYSOFA

Partnership plans to serve more New Yorkers

“We had high hopes for the efficacy of ElliQ, but the results that we’re seeing are truly exceeding our expectations,” said Greg Olsen, director of the New York State Office for the Aging. “The data speaks for itself, and the stories that we’re hearing from case managers and clients around the state have been nothing short of unbelievable. To see the impact this technology is making on the lives of our community members is incredibly moving and we can’t wait to see this program continue to grow.”

NYSOFA said it works to help the state’s 4.6 million older adults be as independent as possible for as long as possible through person-centered, consumer-oriented, and cost-effective policies, programs, and services. It partners with a network of public and private organizations that serves older adults and their families.

“It has been a pleasure to work alongside local offices for the aging and partners to identify older adults who would most benefit from empathetic AI,” said Dor Skuler, co-founder and CEO of Intuition Robotics.

“ElliQ can’t make an impact on individuals until it has been invited into the home, and the case managers and staff on the ground have been integral in educating older adults about ElliQ, supporting installations, and facilitating introductions between our team and the clients directly,” Skuler added. “We’re excited to continue our work with NYSOFA and other aging agencies to increase the number of aging adults we can help.”

NYSOFA has piloted the ElliQ AI companion robot from Intuition Robotics.

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Intuition Robotics

ElliQ uses AI and is designed to engage with older adults.

Robot Technologies