Pepper the robot joins Southend’s social care team

Written by Sam Trendall on 26 October 2017 in News
News

Essex town to deploy humanoid robot to help deliver services

 

A humanoid robot – dubbed Pepper – is to be used in the delivery of social care in Southend-on-Sea.

The Essex town’s council has acquired the “child-sized” robot under an academic licence, and intends to use it in settings including residential facilities and sheltered housing. Pepper could be used to help run a reminiscence group with people suffering from dementia, the council claimed, or provide assistance with rehabilitation exercises for those recovering from strokes. 

The robot may also be stationed in buildings to provide information to residents, staff, and visitors. The device will also be taken to local schools to try and instil in children an interest in working in social care.

The council said that Pepper (pictured below right) will not be used to administer any personal one-on-one care. Nor, it added, will the technology replace human employees. 


Related content


Lesley Salter, executive councillor for health and adult social care, said: “I have met Pepper and he is very cute, kind, engaging and learning all the time. He is an amazing addition to our equipment team and I really think he will be both popular and successful with staff and our local community, both young and old. I am very proud that Southend-on-Sea is leading the way, and we are all so excited to see what Pepper, and this technology in general, can do for our services, and help us meet the well-known challenges that the social-care sector faces.” 

Sharon Houlden, Southend-on-Sea’s director of adult services and housing, claimed that introducing robotics technology into the council’s work is something that has been “on the agenda for some time”.

“This is also about exploration and pushing the boundaries,” she said. “Whilst the sector has talked about this technology for some time now, we are ambitious and confident enough in Southend-on-Sea to make the first move and become the first local authority to trial this technology. We are convinced that digital technology is where the future lies for social care, and we would be delighted to explore this further with other innovative partners.”

 

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

DWP signs potential £50m Atos deal for IT system to support personal independence payment assessments
16 June 2022

Platform will go live with assessment providers next summer

NHS Covid-19 app digs into design and user experience in £200k research drive
7 June 2022

UKHSA awards two contracts to specialist firms

NHS Covid app update expands symptom checklist and softens guidance for English users
28 June 2022

Latest version of software removes suggestion users may have coronavirus and countdown clock – except for Welsh users, who are still told to isolated and get tested

Covid inquiry: Government lawyers sign £23m deals for document disclosure
27 June 2022

Long-term contracts cover data from a range of specified departments