Autonomy and Independence – That’s What We Want

Having swung and missed the first time around, we’re taking the lessons from our pilot and going back to first principles – what do we know?

What we really learned from the pilot is that people have a strong desire to stay independent, in spite of how their physical and mental capabilities may change. This is pointing us back to where we started, back to enabling people to help themselves. So, that’s where we’re headed.

We’re still in conversations with long-term care providers but will offer the residents, their families and facility staff the opportunity to drive the robots themselves. This was easily the most popular element of our pilot and so it’s an easy decision to move forward with. We won’t be hiring any more virtual care companions, which then allows us to provide the rentals at a lower cost.

We’re also shifting from a service to a product focus, and will be working on developing AI-enabled robotic appliances that help people stay in their homes for longer with less outside support. This fall we’ll be testing out a prototype with an arm/gripper that a person can use themselves through a phone or tablet, so that we empower them to manage their own space and belongings more effectively.

We don’t know if this will be what potential customers want but we think it’s worth a try. My own experiences taught me that these are still problems worth solving, so we’re going to keep iterating until we get to an answer.