Zora Bots, a Belgium based provider of caregiver robots, has sold over 1,000 robots to health care facilities around the world including the United States. Robots are seen as part of the solution to the growing gap in the number of caregivers relative to the number of people needing help. In one French nursing home, Zora is used as companionship to residents, lead exercises and play games. Zora is also seen as a way to address lonelieness. For the complete article, follow our link to the New York Times.
Meet Zora, the Robot Caregiver
By ADAM SATARIANO, ELIAN PELTIER and DMITRY KOSTYUKOV | NYTIMES.COM
This is Zora.
It may not look like much — more cute toy than futuristic marvel — but this robot is at the center of an experiment in France to change care for elderly patients.
When Zora arrived at this nursing facility an hour outside Paris, a strange thing began happening: Many patients developed an emotional attachment, treating it like a baby, holding and cooing, giving it kisses on the head.
Zora, which can cost up to $18,000, offered companionship in a place where life can be lonely. Families can visit only so much, and staff members are stretched.
Patients at the hospital, called Jouarre, have dementia and other conditions that require round-the-clock care.
The nurse at Jouarre who oversees Zora controls the robot from a laptop. He often stands out of view so patients don’t know it’s him at the controls.
The robot can have a conversation because the nurse types words into a laptop for the robot to speak. Some patients refer to Zora as “she,” others “he.”
Zora often leads exercises and plays games. Keeping reading.