Industrial - Honours
Koro is a therapeutic robot companion for people living with dementia (PwD) and their caregivers, in the context of at-home care. Koro helps carers by lowering stress through play and encouraging meaningful interactions between PwD and their caregivers, serving as an effective alternative to medication.
An opportunity was observed to implement technological solutions into the caregiving process, as clinical testing of new technologies such as VR therapy, robotic assistance and smart homes have been gaining traction within the dementia caregiving field. Robotic companions as a form of animal therapy have been specifically observed to improve PwD interaction, socialization and reducing depression, which in turn reduces the burden of care placed on caregivers.
Koro isn’t designed to replace the caregiver but to help them become a better caregiver
Koro is accessed through the Koro app which has four main aspects: Play, monitor, settings and tutorial. An app format was chosen since phones are largely available and cheap, making them an affordable choice for caregivers. Considerations such as big blocks and large font in the app UI was made to increase usability and navigation as caregivers may be in the elderly age bracket and not be as technologically savvy.
To summarize, Koro is a lovable robotic companion meant to bring out the best from the caregiver so that they may provide a better quality of care for their loved ones with dementia.
Hsuan is a detail-orientated and passionate Industrial Designer, thinker and tinkerer. Driven by curiosity, he is interested in developing technologies such as additive manufacturing and mixed reality environments and strives to use design as an engine of change to improve the world around him.