Robot aids elderly’s cognitive skills

Kyodo

A talking robot can help improve the cognitive skills of the elderly, a study by Osaka City University researchers showed.

In the study, 18 women 65 and older who live alone spent two months living with a talking robot, while another group of 16 such women were each given a stuffed doll that looks like the robot but does not talk. The women given the talking robot showed improvement in memory and judgment.

The 28-cm-tall, 1-kg robot made by Pip Co. looks like a little boy and has a vocabulary of 400 words. When spoken to, it can say things such as, “Great!” and “I see,” while nodding. It can also respond to sound, light and hand movements.

It was also found to promote healing effects, helping subjects develop a positive mental attitude, sleep better or recover from fatigue.The robot went on sale last November, and costs ¥21,000.