Investors: Press Release
In Home Elder Care Robot Trials Begin
CONYERS, Ga., Nov. 16, 2009 -- GeckoSystems Intl. Corp. (PINKSHEETS: GCKO) announced today that they are starting limited in home evaluation trials for their first product, a personal companion home care robot, the CareBot. GeckoSystems is a dynamic leader in the emerging Mobile Service Robot (MSR) industry revolutionizing their development and usage with "Mobile Robot Solutions for Safety, Security and Service."
"Practical, cost effective mobile robot solutions are our primary goal. We are very pleased to begin our first in home trials of this new assistive care home appliance, a customizable personal companion robot. Now we begin proving our long held belief that personal companion mobile robots, like the CareBot, can help tens of thousands of families take better care of their loved ones while saving significant monies," remarked Martin Spencer, President/CEO, GeckoSystems.
"Further, due to our international competition from the Pacific Rim, Europe, and domestic competition in the U.S. (See Competitive Note below.), we are gratified to make this 'world's first' announcement. With these in home trials now initiated, we expect to learn a great deal as to the reality of social interaction between human and robot in home settings," predicted Spencer.
"In the near future, as we progress with our in home personal companion robot evaluation trials, we will be reporting on the social interaction responses of the care receiver --and the care giver-- to this new type of in home medical monitoring system," observed Spencer.
Recently, Dr. Neta Ezer of Georgia Tech released a white paper entitled: "More Than a Servant: Self-Reported Willingness of Younger and Older Adults to Having a Robot Perform Interactive and Critical Tasks in the Home" published in the "Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 53rd Annual Meeting." Amongst several observations, they concluded that the elderly are surprisingly receptive to robotic assistive care. "We applaud Dr. Ezer's insightful work even though it only addresses potential benefits to the care receiver, and not the care giver(s). In many instances the family of the care receiver may benefit as much, or more, than the care receiver according to our market research. We are excited about going into real world, in home evaluation trials to learn first hand what the elderly like, and/or dislike about a robotic companion sharing the same living space with them," concluded Spencer.
The elderly frequently endure loneliness and/or loss of independence when living in nursing homes or other assisted living facilities. This new type of remote medical monitoring system, a CareBot, will postpone, if not eliminate that trauma to them. Their families can now better manage the difficult decisions regarding the independence they allow their now dependent parent while minimizing the risk the adult care giver is willing to assume for a prudent level of independence for their now reliant parent.
Some believe that the technology is approved and paid for through options such as the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, which broadens the definition, use, and funding of technology at home. Other sources include long-term care insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, Medicaid waivers, and (potentially) stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, under the provisions for health information technology and electronic medical records for acute care.
Like an automobile, mobile robots are made from steel, aluminum, plastic, and electronics, but with ten to twenty times the amount of software running. The CareBot has an aluminum frame, plastic shroud, two independently driven wheels, multiple sensor systems, microprocessors and several onboard computers connected in a local area network (LAN). The microprocessors directly interact with the sensor systems and transmit data to the onboard computers. The onboard computers each run independent, highly specialized cooperative/subsumptive artificial intelligence (AI) software programs, GeckoSavants, which interact to complete tasks in a timely, intelligent and common sense manner. GeckoNav, GeckoChat and GeckoTrak are primary GeckoSavants. GeckoNav is responsible for maneuvering, avoiding dynamic and/or static obstacles, seeking waypoints and patrolling. GeckoChat is responsible for interaction with the care-receiver such as answering questions, assisting with daily routines and reminders, and responding to other verbal commands. GeckoTrak, which is mostly transparent to the user, enables the CareBot to maintain proximity to the care-receiver using sensor fusion. The CareBot is an internet appliance that is accessible for remote video/audio monitoring and telepresence.
The known competitive product offerings, or in development include, but are not limited to:
In Asia: Honda ("ASIMO"), Toyota ("Partner Robots"), Fujitsu (Frontech's "enon"), Sanyo ("FLATTHRU"), NEC ("PaPeRo"), Toshiba ("ApriAlpha", "ApriAttenda"), Samsung, Hitachi ("EMIEW"), Matsushita ("HOSPI"), Mitsubishi ("Wakamaru"), etc.
In Europe: Robosoft ("robuLAB10"), Robowatch, Dyson, Husqvarna, etc. are working to achieve their first personal robot trials, too.
In the U.S.: iRobot ("CiCi"), Mobile Robots ("PeopleBot"), RoboDynamics ("MILO"), Evolution Robotics, etc. are also still seeking to develop viable, cost effective personal companion robots with eldercare benefits.
Prestigious U.S. universities such as MIT, Georgia Tech, Stanford University, UCLA, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Michigan, Virginia Tech, etc. are but a few of the domestic engineering schools engaged in personal companion robot research and development activities.
None of the foregoing have initiated in home evaluation trials of their personal companion home care mobile robots.