Advinia Health Care Chairman Dr Sanjeev Kanoria yesterday revealed further details of a controversial care home robotics trial.
The trial under a partnership with the University of Bedfordshire and the Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Japan, which was funded with a £2.2m EU grant, will launch in November.
Dr Sanjeev said: “If used sensibly artificial intelligence can be very beneficial. It is not intended to replace nurses and carers.”
The Advinia Health Care chief said the operator would be in a position to report on findings from its trial next year.
The trial will include the deployment of Pepper, a 4ft tall robot, which is designed by Softbank Robotics in Japan.
Pepper is a culturally competent robot able to adapt to human needs. Its functions include initiating conversations, suggesting activities, giving weather forecasts and communicating people’s needs to carers.
The robot is also able to provide entertainment through a screen on its chest and also connect people with Skype.
Advinia’s announcement came as Pepper spoke to a House of Commons Committee this week on how robotics can be used to care for older people.
Speaking as part of a Softbank delegation, Pepper said: “Assistive intelligent robots for older people could relieve pressure on hospitals and care homes as well as improve care delivery at home and promote independent living for elderly people.”