Investors: Press Release
Elder Care Robot Trials Begun
CONYERS, Ga., Nov. 18, 2009 -- GeckoSystems Intl. Corp. (PINKSHEETS: GCKO) announced today that they have started limited in home evaluation trials for their first product, a fully autonomous 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 with telepresence capabilities. The first step, integrating into the home environment, is customizing the voice reproduction (synthesis) in our verbal interaction software, GeckoChat, such that the care receiver can readily understand timely (using GeckoScheduler) verbal reminders for their medications, upcoming TV shows, family visits, etc. The care receiver here is a ninety-three year old widow with short-term memory loss that is very similar to the symptoms of Alzheimer's victims, but without the continued degradation. 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.
"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 fully autonomous in home medical monitoring system," observed 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 this new type of useful care giving help 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.
GeckoChat is one of several GeckoSavants that enable their new product, a personal companion robot, the CareBot. It employs voice recognition and synthesis. It is an advanced artificial intelligence (AI) expert system that enables meaningful dialogues between the care receiver/giver and the CareBot as determined and customized by the care giver(s). The voice synthesis can be customized as to flux, breathiness and cadence. The caregiver can further enhance the sound quality using the on board seven band frequency equalizer and amplifier for easier comprehension.
"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 and progressing, we expect to learn a great deal as to the reality of social interaction between human and robot in home settings," concluded Spencer.
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.