The Edge

This little robot is encouraging lonely young people to talk to others

This robot was built for lonely young people

Researchers in Korea created a prototype robot named Fribo. Its job is to encourage lonely people to text and call one another.

Fribo creates a virtual living space that brings isolated users to a central location. The robot is built with sensors and microphones that pick up on daily activities in your home. For example, it can identify when a friend arrives home, opens their refrigerator or uses their washing machine. It then shares that information with other users in the group.

Fribo was presented at the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction last month. Early tests of the device show positive results in improving feelings of isolation.