A robot designed by a Trinity College has made the cover of Time magazine.
Stevie, the socially assistive robot, was initially created in 2017 by Prof Conor McGinn and since then, thanks to Enterprise Ireland, has been updated to ‘new and improved Stevie II”.
The robot is designed to assist people in need of long-term care, such as the elderly and those with disabilities, and is currently spending the summer in a retirement community in Washington.
The invention is part of a project examining the role artificial intelligence could play in the treatment and care of the elderly into the future.
The Time’s article, coinciding with the prestigious cover, is headlined:and talks about Stevie’s antics in Knollwood Military Retirement Community.
Mostly his MC duties for their semi-monthly singalongs.
As the crowd sings the hit YMCA, it is Stevie’s job is to lead the crowd through the song’s signature dance moves.
Stevie II is significantly more mobile than its earlier self and uses advanced sensing technologies including laser rangefinders, depth cameras, as well as tactile, inertial and vision sensors to interact intelligently with its environment.
The article goes on to explain that Stevie’s face can double as a video-conferencing screen, enabling a resident to video chat with a doctor or family member, or a staff member with a resident in another part of the building.
The Trinity team consulted with a wide range of experts during the robot’s development, including nurses and caregivers, as well as older adults living at home or in long-term care facilities. Among those partners is ALONE, a national organisation that supports older people to age at home.