The project brings together industry leaders in robotics, senior care, regional services and IT.
TOKYO (June 28, 2019) – Yukai Engineering Inc., a Tokyo-based robotics startup known for creating robots that bring joy to life, has announced a senior service program featuring Yukai’s flagship communication robot, BOCCO, will launch on July 1 in Japan’s northeast prefecture of Miyagi. The pilot is a collaborative effort among Yukai, Tohoku Fukushikai, a nonprofit human services organization, Nihon Unisys Ltd., an IoT company, and Tohoku Electric Power Co., a utility company serving Japan’s northern mainland. Designed to foster communications among facility residents, their families and facility staff by using BOCCO as the key interface device, the pilot will run through the end of September at “Sendan no Sato,” a care facility that Tohoku Fukushikai operates in Sendai.
BOCCO is a small family communication robot that connects to both the internet and home sensors. Users can record messages on the robot and send them to their family members’ mobile devices. BOCCO app users can also send messages from their mobile devices to the robot. In addition, BOCCO can send alerts to app users when home sensors connected to the robot detect certain activities and when smart lights, air-conditioners and other IoT devices require adjustments. The four businesses that collaboratively developed the new service program hope that it will help the center’s staff provide quality care and work more efficiently while promoting communications among the staff, the residents and their families. If the pilot proves successful, the collaborators will make any necessary improvements toward a permanent implementation of the system.
“We are excited about this new service program that brings together the collaborating businesses’ expertise in various fields. We hope to continuously improve the program to address challenges with which our aging society is faced,” Yukai Engineering CEO Shunsuke Aoki said.
BOCCO is Yukai’s flagship family communication robot. Released to the market in 2016 following a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, BOCCO is widely used across Japan as an interface for child- and senior-monitoring programs. The robot is capable of connecting to both the internet and home sensors, enabling users to exchange text- and voice-messages, receive news and weather information, receive reminders for calendar entries, control lighting and temperatures remotely and do much more via the robot.