Jul 7, 2022 - News

Robot made to help dementia patients debuts at Minnesota nursing home

white robot with screen
Photo courtesy of University of Minnesota Duluth

A first-of-its-kind robot programmed to help care for people with early-stage Alzheimer's and dementia rolled into a Twin Cities nursing home Wednesday.

The big picture: The robot, developed by a team at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, is meant to help patients remain independent longer, per a release.

  • Researchers believe it's the first time the technology has been applied to nursing homes.

Zoom in: The robots, which can make eye contact, detect facial impressions and talk, are programmed to provide entertainment, administer "cognitive therapy" and notice when the patients' routines change.

What they're saying: “This is a major step and the beginning in helping improve the quality of life of elderly and people affected with dementia using humanoid robots," Arshia Khan, the UMD computer science professor behind the project, said in a statement.

What's next: The first deployment made its debut at The Estates of Roseville Wednesday.

  • Additional robots will arrive at seven other Monarch nursing homes across Minnesota in the weeks ahead.
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