13:35 06 March 2017
Mario, the £15,000 dementia-robot, has been designed to help people with early stages of the disease by keeping their mind’s active. It makes small talk about the weather, helps sufferers find their keys, and prompts reminiscences of family holidays. Its goal is to eventually revolutionise the way sufferers are cared for.
George McNamara, of the Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘Mario could be a game-changer for people with dementia. It shows the potential of technology to transform the quality of life, the enjoyment, the health of people with dementia. It could change the way we think of the kind of support that is available.’
Mario is being tested with sufferers in Stockport, Greater Manchester.
Andy Bleaden, the council official responsible for the pilot scheme, said that the robot is being developed to engage with people on a deeper level.
Mario’s main goal is to provide companionship to help dementia sufferers experiencing loneliness by engaging in natural conversation.
Mr Bleaden added: ‘People want to be able to ask what the weather is. That’s a big thing in England. They want to be able to ask the time.’