Above: Wheel-I-Am in Sydney (from left) Circular Quay; Darling Habour; Channel 7’s Sunrise program
A robotic wanderer set to star at an upcoming industry event has taken residents from Feros Village Byron Bay on a tour of Sydney visiting iconic sites including the Sydney Opera House and Darling Harbour.
The telepresence robot, which is best described as an iPad mounted on a Segway, is known by its employer aged care provider Feros Care as Wheel-I-Am.
In this situation, Wheel-I-Am’s role is to allow less mobile residents and those unable to go out on social outings to stay socially connected and be part of the fun.
Before hitting the tourist trail, Wheel-I-Am started the day with a visit to the Chanel 7 studios in Martin Place to meet the team from the Sunrise breakfast program and facilitate a video-conference chat between them and residents.
CEO Jennene Buckley said Feros Care was aiming to change the face of aged care and keep seniors engaged, healthy and active through this and other initiatives.
“Wheel-I-Am is one of many ways our residents can feel connected and included because they get to go on interactive outings without leaving the village,” she said.
The robot is part of Feros Care’s eVillage program, which will be in focus at next week’s Smart Technologies Bootcamp, a two-day workshop, where Feros will share its knowledge on technology use in aged and community care with fellow providers.
The eVillage program also includes virtual consultations to connect residents with their GPs who can assess and discuss residents’ health and concerns.
The virtual consultations, which are still in pilot stage, are leading to improved access to health care providers and fewer hospital admissions, according to Feros.
This program plus tips for virtualising an aged care organisation are on the agenda at the tech event, which also features information and demonstrations of Feros innovations in a range of areas of care and support including:
- remote workers
- social connection
A virtual seniors centre, which aims to allow people to stay connected, meet friends and participate in the community from the comfort of their lounge chair, will also be launched at the event.
Technology Review will be at event and live tewweting from @AAATechReview
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