For the Elderly Who Are Lonely, Robots Offer Companionship

Mabu and other digital helpers can provide elderly people with health reminders and relay health information back to care providers. PHOTO: CATALIA HEALTH

Imani Moise

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Researchers are testing whether digital assistants can help older people stay healthy

Twice a day a little robot in Rayfield Byrd’s living room lights up and asks him a very personal question: “Have you taken your medication?”


For the past few weeks, Mr. Byrd, a 67-year-old retired transit worker who lives alone in Oakland, Calif., has been able to proudly answer “yes.”


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