Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Thursday, Feb 02, 2023

More Hong Kong care homes are using robots

More Hong Kong care homes are using robots

Pandemic spurs demand for robots that help record temperature, connect residents with family members.

The staff of a Hong Kong care home for the elderly went on a hunt the day their four robots went missing.

Usually used for video chats and playing music, they were tracked down to the bedside of some residents.

“It turned out the residents had ‘summoned’ them to play mahjong,” said Lim Long-hei, founder and chief executive officer of Robocore, the Hong Kong distributor of Israeli-made Temi robots.

Although the squat 100cm machines were not programmed to play games, the residents had found a way to download mahjong onto them.

Lim Long-hei, founder and CEO of Robocore.


The home ended up buying 10 more robots to not only help with repetitive tasks, but also entertain residents, he said.

As robots have become increasingly common at Hong Kong shopping centres and MTR stations and during the Covid-19 pandemic, care homes have found them to be useful assistants for disinfecting the premises, recording residents’ temperatures and connecting them with family members.

Lim’s company, set up in 2019, is one of the main suppliers of robots to the homes. It sold about 500 robots in 2019 and 2020, and twice as many since last year, with the latest model priced at HK$79,800 (US$10,165).

Robotic solutions are designed to perform tasks that are repetitive, time consuming and even dangerous. Artificial intelligence drives what robots can do, and more functions may be added by using various applications.

For example, Lim’s team developed a smell-sensing app to detect the odor of faeces and urine, alerting staff of the home to change diapers or bedsheets.

Temi robots are among the innovations featured at this year’s four-day International ICT Expo which was opened on Thursday by Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry Sun Dong.

Organised by the Trade Development Council, it features more than 1,100 exhibitors, including the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, showcasing the use of information and communication technology for “smart city” innovations such as those used to improve search and rescue operations and the safety of hikers.

Lim said public and private hospitals were using robots in isolation wards to record patients’ vital signs such as blood pressure and oxygen levels.

“Doctors can then speak to patients remotely, reducing infection risks,” he added.

He said more homes for the elderly had begun buying robots since the Social Welfare Department extended its innovation and technology fund in September to include NGOs and private organisations that received subsidies.

The fund was set up in December 2018 to help eligible elderly and rehabilitation services buy, rent and try out tech products that improved their services and eased the burden on staff and carers.

Among the groups that began using robots during the pandemic was the Asia Women’s League, which bought robots for its three elderly homes.

A spokeswoman said they were used mainly for video calls between residents and their families when visitors were not allowed.

“Residents could speak with their loved ones via video without physically moving around,” she said. “They sometimes also sing along to the music the robots play.”

Dignity Kitchen, a social enterprise which runs a restaurant in Mong Kok serving Singaporean food such as Hainanese chicken rice and bak kut teh (pork bone tea), bought robots in April last year that allow 10 employees with physically disabilities to work from home.

Training administrator Nicholas Lai Chi-lok, said: “We trained them to control the robot at home so that they can see what happens in the restaurant, and engage customers by recommending signature dishes and taking orders.”

Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
Close
0:00
0:00
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
Chinese search giant Baidu to launch ChatGPT like AI chatbot.
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
China is opening up for foreign investors.
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
China relaxes 'red lines' on property sector borrowing in policy pivot
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
Japan prosecutors indict man for ex-PM Shinzo Abe murder
Vietnam removes two deputy PMs amid anti-corruption campaign
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
China’s recovery could add 1% to Australia’s GDP: JPMorgan 
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
China vows to strengthen financial support for enterprises: official
International medical experts speak out against COVID-19 restrictions on China
2 Billion People To Travel In China's "Great Migration" Over Next 40 Days
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
Flight constraints expected to weigh on China travel rebound
Billionaire Jack Ma relinquishes control of Ant Group
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
Teslas now over 40% cheaper in China than US
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
China seeks course correction in US ties but will fight ‘all forms of hegemony’, top diplomat Wang Yi says
China will boost spending in 2023
African traders welcome end of China’s Covid travel curbs
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
Preparations begin for Spring Festival travel rush
Domestic COVID-19 drug effective in trial
HK to see a full recovery, John Lee says in New Year message
Bargain hunters flock to last day of Hong Kong brands and products expo
Hong Kong aims for January 8 reopening of border with mainland China
×