Engineers at Trinity College Dublin Build a Robot Designed to Battle Loneliness

There is no doubt that all inventions are exciting, many are life changing and some, downright cool, and then there is Stevie II, a heady combination of all three!

Designed by Conor McGinn and the robotics engineers at Trinity College Dublin Stevie II, Ireland’s first socially assistive AI robot was unveiled during a special demonstration at the Science Gallery in Dublin today.

The team developed a robot to help battle loneliness amongst the elderly and those living in care homes. ‘Stevie II’ is an upgraded version of Ireland’s first socially assistive robot (Stevie I) with advanced AI features.

Stevie II, is more mobile and dextrous than its predecessor and uses advanced sensing technologies including laser rangefinders, depth cameras, and vision sensors to interact intelligently with humans and its surrounding environment.

Stevie has face and voice recognition, which means he can address those he is speaking to directly, and understand and reply to commands.

Niamh Donnelly, who specializes in the artificial intelligence behind Stevie, says a more humanized side of robotics is the most requested feature.

Working with Conor and his team to secure the US registered design was a really interesting project for us, and to see all their hard work and ideas come to fruition has been incredible. Now, to watch the positive impact Stevie II will have on those he has been designed to live alongside.

Over the coming months, the team is planning several more pilots of the technology, including a trial in the UK, where Stevie will be tested in long-term care facilities in the Cornwall region as part of the European-funded EPIC project.

Photo Credit : Brian Lawless PA/Wire

Video Credit: Trinity College Dublin

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