Accessible companion robot for elderly homes and hospitals
Elderly home residents suffer from depression
People aged over 65 suffer from depression
Adults over 60 in the US suffer from a mental illness
Paro is a socially assistive robot made for therapy to be used by hospital patients and extended care facilities.
Paro is too reliant on the form of a baby seal and the user being attracted to stuffed animals and pets. There are many people who don't like animals. The robot is $3000 and the heavy price tag keeps many people in need who can't afford it.
How might we make Paro accessible without relying on looking like a baby seal?
Researching what components make the robot more expensive and whether they are necessary when Paro is not in a seal form
Creating different concepts of companion robots based off five different emotions and whether they could be made in the present or the near future.
Reducing the concepts down to either a robot to hug or a hoodie robot that hugs you. I chose the first as it is more technologically feasible and easy to understand for the elderly.
Alternate manufacturing = Alternate Forms
Searching for the right materials for my robot based on comfort, cost, and accessibility
Choosing specific materials based on cost, durability, sustainability, and weight
Get It Together
Exploring as many ways as possible to put together my robot and deciding on snap parts as silicone is resistant to glue and it will be the lowest cost while also giving a fun experience to assemble the robot.
Rules to Abide
Understanding different manufacturing, safety, and health agencies that regulate the rules to follow when making this robot
light up eyes react to touch/sound
Speaker/Mic for an ear to listen to
Eye blinks to convey different emotions