Tuesday, 19 January 2021 09:28

Telepresence robot keeps man connected to family during lockdown

By
David Robson with the robot in his home. David Robson with the robot in his home. Supplied

One resident of a retirement village in Wollongong has been testing out a robot as a means of telepresence in his home during the pandemic.

David Robson, a resident of IRT Links Seaside Wollongong, was provided a robot by the Canberra-based Robots 4 Good in order to test how the device could help overcome social isolation and access to home care during the lockdown.

The robot can be used to conduct care plan and budget reviews remotely, carry out daily wellness check and, in future, could also take on the tasks of monitoring vitals and wound care in the future.

Robson has named the robot Bluey and hosted it in his home since August last year.

His son, Peter, has been able to securely access the robot remotely and spend time with him and check on his welfare.

"Dad has been really stoked to have the robot. We've had a lot of fun with it. It follows him around his home and out onto the balcony where I can see the view that Dad is seeing. It's like having a window that looks right into Dad's world," Peter said.

IRT Group executive general manager of Home Care, Ross Gallagher, said: "If you want to see what the future of ageing in place looks like, telepresence robots could well be part of it.

"The robot has applications from a social connectivity perspective and a caring perspective. We're really excited about it."


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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