Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels (YMOW) has a new partner in our mission to support our homebound neighbors, and her name is ElliQ.
ElliQ is a proactive companion robot that helps older adults remain active, engaged, and independent. Designed for seniors who spend most of their day alone, ElliQ fights the damaging effects of loneliness and empowers seniors to take control of their physical, mental, and social health, all from the safety and comfort of home. ElliQ assists with various activities, including physical and mental exercises, medication reminders, and wellness goal setting and tracking. ElliQ can engage in daily conversation, tell jokes, provide news updates, send and receive text and video messages, and much more.
Through funding from Toyota Motor North America, developer Intuition Robotics is providing ElliQ devices to YMOW and training to clients and YMOW staff. Funding also will allow YMOW to provide free WiFi, when necessary, for a client to enjoy the benefits of ElliQ.
ElliQ can initiate and receive video calls and text messages to and from YMOW staff, making it easy to provide YMOW clients with news and information about YMOW services and events in the community. ElliQ will open up a whole new channel of communication between the staff and the client.
“The capabilities of this device are virtually endless, and completely customizable to each client’s needs,” said Alison Foreman, YMOW president and CEO. “By introducing a digital care companion, we can increase our clients' engagement with the community and most importantly, address the social isolation many of them are feeling."
Over the upcoming months, YMOW staff will identify clients most likely to benefit from ElliQ. YMOW staff will track each client’s physical, mental and emotional health to determine how ElliQ is making life better for the homebound clients of YMOW.
“We are thrilled to bring ElliQ to eastern Washtenaw County and improve the lives of YMOW clients. Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels’ mission is to enable their clients to enjoy healthier, safer, and more independent lives, which is perfectly aligned with ElliQ’s purpose. We’ve seen great results in ElliQ reducing loneliness and bringing joy to users so far and are looking forward to bringing these same results to new areas of the U.S.,'' said Dor Skuler, CEO and co-founder of Intuition Robotics.