Talking robots could be used to combat loneliness and boost mental health in care homes

Pepper engages in conversation with a care home resident.

London (CNN)Talking robots that interact with older people could be introduced into care homes to help fight loneliness and mental ill health.

Pepper, a "culturally competent robot," was tested on care home residents in Britain and Japan -- those who interacted with it for up to 18 hours over the course of two weeks "saw a significant improvement in their mental health," researchers found.
Pepper was part of a large global study known as CARESSES, jointly funded by the European Union and the Japanese government, which investigated the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in caring for the elderly.