Dementia Robot’ Mario
The dementia robot which can help you find your keys, reminds you to book holidays and even talks about the weather… but can it REALLY rescue the elderly victims of Britain’s loneliness epidemic?
- Mario’ has been designed to help people suffering from dementia
- The £15,000 robot is being tested on people with early stages of the disease
- The ‘revolutionary’ gadget has been designed to help keep minds active
- But there are fears that Mario could result in reduced human contact
He can make small-talk about the weather, help you find your keys and prompt reminiscences of family holidays.
And Mario the robot has just one mission in life: to help people suffering from dementia.
The £15,000 device is now being tested in the homes of a handful of British patients, in the hope that it could eventually revolutionise the way sufferers are cared for.
Mario is designed to help keep his companion’s mind active – and to help stave off the loneliness that is linked to dementia.
But critics have questioned whether a robot can ever be an adequate substitute for genuine human contact.
Mario is being tested with people in the early stages of dementia in Stockport, Greater Manchester.
Andy Bleaden, the council official responsible for the pilot scheme, explained that the robot is being developed to engage with people on a deeper level than simply providing information such as the time, weather and forthcoming events.
He said: ‘We want to bring in a reminiscence tool that uses pictures from family photographs, weddings, holidays.’
Mario is also fitted with a sensor that it can use to find lost personal items such a TV remote control, keys and reading glasses, and it can call for emergency help if needed.