Chubu Electric Power Co.,Inc. | Demonstration of Reassurance Calls for Seniors Using Robots -Operators Check in on Seniors During the Day When Their Family Members Don’t Have Time and Report Their Well-being to Family Members-- - Press Releases(2018)
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Press Release 2018

Demonstration of Reassurance Calls for Seniors Using Robots -Operators Check in on Seniors During the Day When Their Family Members Don’t Have Time and Report Their Well-being to Family Members--

September 19, 2018

Chubu Electric Power Co.,Inc.
YUKAI Engineering Inc.
Pre-stage Care Tokai

Today, Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. (Headquarters: Higashi-ku, Nagoya-shi; President & Director: Satoru Katsuno; hereafter, “Chubu Electric Power”) and YUKAI Engineering Inc. (Headquarters: Shinjyuku-ku, Tokyo; Representative: Shunsuke Aoki; hereafter, “YUKAI Engineering”), and Pre-stage Care Tokai (Headquarters: Naka-ku, Nagoya-shi; Representative Director: Kazuhiro Ito; hereafter, “Prestage Care Tokai”) will start a demonstration of a reassurance call service for seniors using “BOCCO” (Note 1) (hereafter, “this service”) from October 22.

Chubu Electric Power, Yukai Engineering, and Prestage Care Tokai are working to prevent dementia, relieve loneliness and anxiety, and support the daily lives of seniors living on their own apart from family members, along with providing support to family and elderly care facilities.

This service will have Chubu Electric Power operators call out to seniors living on their own or in elderly care facilities in the middle of a working day through BOCCO (Note 2) to provide livelihood support, prevent dementia and fulfill other needs. The details of the interactions are sent to the smartphones of the family members or elderly care facilities’ employees (Note 3) to provide peace of mind to the family and to reduce the load placed on elderly care facilities’ employees (may enable reduction in the rounds of visits, etc.).

A defining characteristic of this service is that one operator can talk to multiple seniors at once. Existing software has been adapted to make interactions with seniors more efficient.

This demonstration will seek to extract any challenges that may exist in one operator interacting with multiple people through BOCCO and determine whether the conversation via BOCCO and sensor information is enough to establish the living situation of the elderly person. It will check to see if this mechanism could eventually lead to the development of other livelihood support services. Preparations, including the development of specialized software, will be made for the start of the demonstration next month.

Chubu Electric Power, YUKAI Engineering, and Prestage Care Tokai will continue to develop services that lead to the safety and relief of seniors and the peace of mind of the surrounding supportive community to solve the challenges posed by the aging society.

(Note 1) A one-to-one interactive communication robot developed by YUKAI Engineering. Messages sent to BOCCO via smartphone text or voicemail will be articulated by BOCCO. Words spoken directly to BOCCO can be checked in real-time through text or voice messages via the smartphone. BOCCO can also be linked up with a dedicated sensor—for example, a temperature and humidity sensor in the home to monitor the probability of a heat stroke and to send a notification to a smartphone when temperatures and humidity reach a certain level.

(Note 2) Examples of BOCCO’s interactive messages: “Have you taken your medicine?”, “Turn on the air conditioner, it’s becoming quite hot in here.”

(Note 3) Details of conversations will only be sent with the explicit permission of the senior themselves and their family.

[Overview of the Demonstration]

 Demonstration period

 October 22, 2018 – January 18, 2019

 Participants

 Elderly care facility operated by Prestage Care Tokai, etc.

Number of participants 

 40 people

Division of roles 

 Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc.

 Selecting participants, lending BOCCO and sensors to participants, operating specialized software, running the demonstration, assessing the results

 YUKAI Engineering

 Providing BOCCO/sensors/specialized software, running the demonstration, assessing the results 

 Prestage Care Tokai

 Selecting participants, running the demonstration, assessing the results 

(Note) This service has been developed based on a suggestion submitted in the open innovation competition “COE Business factory 2017” hosted by Chubu Electric Power from July 2017 to January 2018.