KOMPAÏ seeks €250,000 to develop next gen assistive robot (FR/EU)

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Kompai-photo017B-low.jpg” thumb_width=”200″ /]KOMPAÏ, which has been developing assistive robots under that name for older and frail people with their caregivers since 2009 (Founder Steve saw the KOMPAÏ-1 in 2011), has spun off as an independent company after acquiring the IP from the developer ROBOSOFT. They are marketing the current KOMPAÏ-2 (see left) which has been on the market since early 2016 [TTA 24 Sept 15]. KOMPAÏ CEO and founder Vincent Dupourqué announced in their press release they are seeking €250,000 to fund the development of the KOMPAÏ-3 as a scalable physical and cognitive assistive robot, primarily for the assisted living/nursing home market. The new iteration will include improvements from technologies which were unavailable or unaffordable only two to three years ago: cloud computing, artificial intelligence, conversational agents, and affective computing. The KOMPAÏ-2 had a ‘face’ which was far more ‘reactive’ than the original and an overall friendlier look, and that would be expected to continue with improvements in the last area.

The KOMPAÏ company and funding is profiled on the European crowdfunding site Hoolders. Investors can join them for as little as €250. They are located on the Basque Coast of France in Bidart in the Izarbel Technopole (la Technopole d’ Izarbel). Website and KOMPAÏ-2 product flyer (English) Hat tip to Founder Steve Hards

Older adults anticipate their relationships with ‘helper’ robots: study

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Penn-State.png” thumb_width=”150″ /]How older adults (65+) respond to the idea of ‘helper robots’ which may be a part of their future lives span a wide range. The key seems to be that they are ‘most advanced, yet acceptable’ (designer Raymond Loewy’s MAYA dictum) when they perform passive ‘physical, informational and interactional’ tasks–‘helpers and butlers’ in the researchers’ terms. Robots which kick it up a notch and are more autonomous, making its own decisions without direction, are far less acceptable and perceived as ‘robot masters’. “Seniors do not mind having robots as companions, but they worry about the potential loss of control over social order to robots.” That is a leap that goes forward, in the lead researcher’s terms, to how the media has portrayed robots as shaping older adults’ perceptions. A team from Penn State University’s Media Effects Research Laboratory surveyed 45 older adults — between ages 65 and 95 years old — at a senior citizens’ center in Pennsylvania. Published in the Interaction Studies journal. Penn State News Hat tip to our former Northern Ireland Contributing Editor Toni Bunting. On the other end of the age spectrum, an earlier study by the same lead researcher noted that older people were quite concerned about the effects of robots on young people and the desire for parental controls, lest the robots might encourage laziness and dependency. Penn State News (2014)