Elderly Safety

Giraff – Bringing Elderly and Caregivers closer!



TEC Admin September 7, 2018

Giraff is a delightfully simple telepresence robot that helps elderly stay connected with their family and friends in the most intimate way possible. The image of the remote user is displayed on the screen and the robot can be driven around to view anything in its vicinity, almost as if you were there in person. Giraff is exclusively created for use by elderly at homes and hospitals and helps caregivers provide better and expedient care at almost any time of the day while maintaining the confidence and peace of mind of the patients.

Design and Functionality

The Giraff robot is built upon a motorized wheeled platform that can easily navigate carpets and thresholds, it has IR-sensors to avoid collisions. Endowed with a video-conferencing set including, camera, microphone, speaker and screen, this robot enables caregivers and health care staff virtually visit elderly that are still living at home despite their regular care needs.

It requires the virtual visitor to download and install a specialized teleoperation software called “Giraff Pilot” which is essentially a graphical interface to drive the robot and control the standard video-conferencing options. Once the program is successfully installed the virtual visitor can connect to the elderly with the device within few seconds.

At the Giraff side, a server is continually running, accepting calls and providing the needed functionality for video-conferencing and motion commands. The elderly can easily adjust the volume, answer/hang-up video-conference calls comfortably seated with the help of a remote controller.

 Performance

As a virtual visitor you can move around, perceive the environment (audio and video), and chat with the elderly over a secured network. With video quality second to none, the superior microphones ensure that the audio quality is crystal clear. The batteries last, approximately, two hours and can be charged by manually docking the system to a station plugged to the domestic electrical installation.

Driving around this robot is almost effortless with an automated U-Turn and an option to double-click in the direction you’d like to go. This intuitive control system makes navigating with the the elderly a lot easier. The 13.3” 1280X800 LCD “portrait-view” display is designed to present approximate full-size view of the elderly’s head and shoulders. This is especially important for old-people with cognitive impairments such as dementia.

The camera offers curved quasi-spherical view allowing for both good straight-ahead vision as well as some peripheral vision. You also have an option to tilt the camera up or down using the mouse wheel. The height of the Giraff, the streaming of the visitor camera on the screen, and the possibility of tilting the Giraff’s head helps in establishing a friendly interaction with the elderly who can really feel the presence of a virtual companion at home.

Warranty and Support

Giraff comes with 1-year limited warranty: parts only; excludes battery. However, software upgrades and support via helpline and email is provided for 2 years.

The Good

  1. No technological skill required for either the virtual visitor or the elderly
  2. Easy to install software with intuitive control system
  3. Can easily overcome obstacles while in motion
  4. Affordable robot that enables caregivers to care for elderly living in different cities
  5. Enables healthcare staff to care for the elderly in a very resourceful manner

The Bad

  1. No automated docking, you need to dock the robot manually for recharging
  2. No crash avoidance system
  3. Requires specialized software

Verdict

Reasonably priced at $11,900, this unique telepresence robot shines bright in enabling the elderly live independently without feeling isolated or lonely. It brings the elderly and the caregivers a lot closer than they could ever imagine. If you are looking for minimalistic mobile telepresence device to stay in touch with your loved one, then Giraff is undeniably the one for you!!