Labrador Systems Inc. is at CES again this year, showing off its healthcare robot designed to help older adults and those who are movement impared navigate their homes.
The company has teamed up with Amazon for one of its demos and has placed an Amazon Echo Show 10 on top of its Labrador Retriever robot to showcase its ability to be integrated with other technologies.
“On its own, the Echo Show 10 is an HD smart display with the Alexa. The device can rotate toward a person when they say the wake word (“Alexa”), helping the screen stay in view as they move around the room,” the company said in a press release.
“When combined with the Retriever, this enables a new degree of freedom for customers by bringing the Echo Show 10 within easy view in different parts of the home,” it added. “The result is a new way of interacting with the Retriever as well as broader range of options for connecting with caregivers.”
The company’s Labrador Retriever mobile robot was designed to assist older adults with health problems complete tasks that involve carrying items from one place to another. It was first unveiled at CES 2022. It could be described as a smart shelf that can follow a person around. It can be controlled using a smartphone or by voice using an Alexa-enabled device.
Amazon has invested in the Oak Park, Calif.-based company as part of its Alexa Fund, a program it developed to help spur voice technology development.
“The proof-of-concept demo with the Echo Show 10 is a preview of what we will be testing in our next rounds of pilots with care providers,” said Mike Dooley, CEO and founder of Labrador Systems, in a statement.
“Capabilities like this can make a dramatic difference in the quality of people's lives and their ability to live independently while staying connected with others, and we're grateful to Amazon's team for their support on this project,” he added.
“The Alexa Fund originally invested in Labrador due to our belief in the utility of robotics and the company's vision to utilize this technology to benefit customers with mobility challenges or who lack access to home assistance,” stated Paul Bernard, birector of the Alexa Fund.
“This test demonstration with Retriever and our Echo Show 10 not only makes technology physically within reach via voice, but also showcases the power of ambient intelligence as the system can operate and navigate independently in the background.”
Labrador partners with AARP
Labrador will be showcasing demos at the Amazon Experience Area, as well as the Age Technology Collaborative Booth being put on by AARP. AARP claims to be “the largest nonprofit nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older choose how they live as they age.” Labrador recently graduated from AARP’s Startup Accelerator program and is a member of the Age Tech Collaborative.
The company said it already reserved reservations from a number of “leading care providers,” including On Lok PACE, Nationwide Insurance, Masonic Homes of California, Western Homes Communities, Eskaton, The Perfect Companion, Presbyterian Villages of Michigan, University of Michigan Flint, and Graceworks Lutheran Services.
Cesareo ContrerasCesareo Contreras was associate editor at Robotics 24/7. Prior to working at Peerless Media, he was an award-winning reporter at the Metrowest Daily News and Milford Daily News in Massachusetts. Contreras is a graduate of Framingham State University and has a keen interest in the human side of emerging technologies.
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Labrador Systems said it robot can be used by both elderly people and others who have impaired movement.