Pepper makes an appearance at the LifeCare Centre in Stockbridge

Our social robot Pepper joined and played dominoes at the Dean social club in the LifeCare Centre, Stockbridge. The social club welcomes its elderly members for three half days every week, all of which are packed with social activities, like music, Tai-chi, Dominoes or Scrabble. The mission of the centre is to help Edinburgh’s lonely and isolated over-60’s by providing companionship that is integrated with local communities. 

The robot was programmed by MSc student Guillaume Gautier currently enrolled in the Robotics, Autonomous and Interactive Systems MSc programme and by Scott MacLeod, PhD student at the School of Engineering of Physical Science, both under the supervision of Dr. Mauro Dragone. The work is part of the ongoing effort from Heriot-Watt's researchers to work with care organizations such as LifeCare and people with assisted living needs to codesign and test innovative solutions for healthy ageing and independent living. This specific project will contribute to our understanding of what value robots like Pepper can bring to the social care sector, for example, by helping to promote social inclusion and generally provide better support to persons in need and to the millions of unpaid and paid carers in the UK.