The Edge

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

This robot was built for lonely young people
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.