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IBM Research and Rice University Explore Watson-Powered Robot Aimed at Aiding Elderly

By   /  December 12, 2016  /  No Comments

ibby Angela Guess

A recent press release reports, “IBM Research today announced the creation of the prototype IBM Multi-Purpose Eldercare Robot Assistant (IBM MERA) done in collaboration with Rice University. IBM MERA is a first of a kind Watson-enabled application designed to help assist the elderly and their caregivers. IBM Research also has plans to work with Sole Cooperativa, an independent healthcare provider in Italy, to instrument senior housing with sensors to monitor day-to-day activities of its residents.”

The release continues, “According to the United Nations, the number of people aged 60 years or older is projected to grow by 56 percent worldwide by 2030. To help improve eldercare resulting from this rapidly growing demographic, IBM Research has opened a new ‘Aging in Place’ environment in its ThinkLab in Austin designed to mimic the types of interactions elders may have in their homes. By leveraging IBM MERA, the Internet of Things, and other cognitive-powered technologies, IBM can study how data from atmospheric, motion & falling, audio and olfactory sensors could be used by the ecosystem of caregivers to potentially improve healthcare and wellness as physical or environmental conditions change.”

Arvind Krishna, Senior Vice President of IBM Research, commented, “Now is the time to invest in, care for, protect, and empower our aging population so they can live more independent lives… Our new research on ’embodied cognition,’ which can combine real-time data generated by sensors with cognitive computing, will explore how to provide clinicians and caregivers with insights that could help them make better care decisions for their patients.”

Read more at PR Newswire.

Photo credit: IBM

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