Meet MiRo – A Robot That Cares

Technology all over the globe is rapidly advancing and now we live in a world where robots have made their way into a normal human’s life. MiRo, an autonomous companion robot is a perfect example of that. It is inspired by the concept of a carefree home system that allows people to look after themselves using smart devices. Instead of relying on external help and resources, this system allows you to tackle your personal and intimate issues in an empowering and cost-effective manner. A UK-based start-up called Consequential Robotics and collaboration between Sebastian Conran Associates and the University of Sheffield is working towards developing a program that facilitates independent living. And MiRo has set out to do just that!

Designed to be a companion to humans, MiRo is an animal-inspired robot that is both friendly and approachable. It does not offer any kind of physical assistance but it monitors behaviour with utmost accuracy and offers companionship. It has pet-like features that one can emotionally engage with and is also a flexible programmable platform for researchers and app developers. Using the MiRoCODE programming environment, students all across GCC, Dubai, UAE and the Middle East are able to create their own programs, try them on-screen and advance in their STEM subjects.

Winning the Best Demonstration Award at the 2017 Human-Robot Interaction Conference in Vienna, Austria, MiRo interacts with wristbands and other digital wearables to track physical activity, environmental factors, monitor any risks, checks our vitals etc. to analyse whether the person is healthy or requires any kind of support. With accurate data recording, this robot can prove to be extremely useful for caregivers who can review the situation and take appropriate action. However, the features are not just restricted to the elderly. MiRo-E is a fully programmable, reasonably priced, robotics platform that allows students and universities to expand their knowledge in robotics, technology and improve their AI coding skills.

MiRo has been the talk of the town because it comes packed with advanced technological features including sensors for facial and voice recognition, navigation technology and light-sensitive vision. Moreover, the companion robot also displays animal-like behaviour such as moving-ear, eyelids, tail and a Bluetooth speaker that produces sounds. It also connects to Wi-Fi and comes with a SD card reader. Over the years, MiRo has been trialled on the elderly by a number of research institutions across the globe. The customer version will be available at 600 pounds, which will not only act as an ideal companion but also play a significant role in evolving STEM education.

Since it displays a superior ‘brain system’, this amiable robot adapts to most situations with mind-blowing accuracy and also shows emotions, makes decisions and responds to human cues in its own unique way. The wider vision behind developing MiRo is to provide emotional aid to humans and decrease the sense of isolation. This empowering model benefits the elderly, healthcare professionals, students and researchers alike.

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