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Robots that teach and care for you

Image Credit: www.todayonline.com; Najeer Yusof/TODAY

Two robots may possible be adopted by the National Council of Social Services (NCSS) to be used in assisting the young and old.

A Singapore-headquartered developer of applied technology, the manufacturer has robots Snow and Temi ready to roll out. These robots are to be employed in preschools and elderly care centres. They are programmed to assist teachers in facilitating lessons for pre-schoolers and to help staff at care centres in looking after the elderly.

The manufacturer will be presenting these robots to the National Council of Social Services (NCSS) at the NCSS Social Service summit at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre on Tuesday, 16 July.

Meet Snow

Snow is a China-built robot that is designed to be used in preschools. It can sing, dance, narrate stories, take attendance, measure temperatures and more. A penguin-shaped robot, it is able to produce facial expressions such as joy, anger, and sadness.

  • 1 metres tall
  • launches educational apps
  • measures temperatures
  • takes attendance
  • sing, dance, narrate stories
  • produce facial expressions
  • Bilingual in English and Chinese

Snow is about 1.1 metres tall which is ideal for having eye-to-eye interactions with pre-schoolers.

Snow is widely used in schools in China, Thailand and the US. Currently bilingual – English and Chinese –  Snow can be programmed for other languages as well.

The robot provides students with an interactive form of learning. Teachers are also able to use Snow to launch educational applications and conduct lessons with it.

The manufacturer claims that Snow performs at a 99 percent accuracy in taking attendance and measuring of temperature. This feature of temperature measurement will allow teachers to be able to track and analyse any irregularities in the temperatures of the students.

Meet Temi

Temi is a United States/Israeli-designed personal robot that can be used in places such as elderly care centres. It can carry drinks to places or patients and can also host video conferences.

  • 1 metre tall
  • Carries drinks
  • Hosts video conferences
  • Charges phones

Standing at 1 metre tall, it is programmed to follow behind staff and assist them with their daily duties of taking care of the elderly.

Temi Is able to perform tasks such as carrying drinks to residents’ rooms and charging of phones. It can also be used to conduct video conferences.

Staff will be able to operate Temi without having to move around much. They can send the robot to visit wards and can communicate with the residents via the robot.

This way, the staff are able to constantly monitor their patients without having to physically go the wards.

Temi has already been in use in the US, Australia, and Europe.

Robots are here to stay

Managing director of manufacturer, Ms Jovy Chiu said that the smart robots will aid in propelling more human-robot interaction. “Robotic technology is now at a sufficiently mature stage that robots can now take their place as useful helpers both at home, in school, and in the workplace”, she said.

The employment of these robots into preschools and elderly care centres will save manpower time for performing dull and repetitive tasks.

Robot tech features

The robots are equipped with multiple sensors that help them carry out various duties. Snow has seven sensors that help it in facial recognition, video recording, photo-taking, dancing, temperature recording, and accurate navigation. Temi, on the other hand, has multiple sensors such as depth cameras and proximity sensors.

The robots employ Slamtech technology which helps in virtual tracking, obstacle avoidance, and autonomous path planning. Snow is better inclined to be able to avoid obstacles.

Future plans for robots in Singapore

The company has plans to bring in more robots which serve other functions such as security and delivery services. Security robots can be used for patrolling and surveillance tasks. Delivery robots can be used in retail and restaurants to assist in providing service to customers. The company is planning to offer preschools five sets of Robot Snow for a month of free trials while Temi is available for purchase.

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