For the past month or so, a small group of older adults in San Francisco has been learning to engage with a talking device named ElliQ. It’s more desk lamp than archetypal robot—think of the hopping light at the beginning of Pixar movies. But while ElliQ is meant to sit on a table or nightstand, it’s all about movement, or more accurately, body language.
Like Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, ElliQ talks. But it also moves, leaning toward the person with whom it’s speaking. It lights up, too, as another means of engagement, and uses volume and sound effects to distinguish its messages.
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