New robot siblings arrive at La Trobe (Issue 22, 2011)

Charles and Sophie

Charles and SophieMatilda and Jack, NEC’S renowned communication robots housed at La Trobe University, are pleased to welcome two new and exciting siblings to their family, Charles and Sophie. 

Prior to arriving in Australia, Charles and Sophie – named after Charles La Trobe and his first wife Sophie – spent 80 days travelling the world receiving modifications including an increase in size and a modern makeover.

Dr Rajiv Khosla, Associate Professor in Management and Director of the Research Centre for Computers, Communication and Social Innovation (RECCSI) announced that the new additions with pride. 

‘The two new siblings of Matilda and Jack have been named Charles and Sophie. These names are wonderful and meaningful as they are enshrined in La Trobe's history,’ said Dr Khosla. 

RECCSI, one of the most innovative research centres in the country, conducts research into service innovation in business, education and health care with emotionally intelligent communication robots. Charles and Sophie will be used for future trials in nursing homes as well as supporting elderly people in their own homes. 

Like Matilda and Jack, the new robots will help elderly members of society remain independent and connected with their friends and the community, in addition to reminding them about their daily activities and medications. 

The robots can read human emotions by analysing facial features and body language and are wirelessly programmed to notify nurses if an elderly patient is distressed, injured or requires help.  

To further develop their human communication skills, the robots are looking for friends to interact with and learn more about their new surroundings. Anyone interested in meeting the robots are welcome to contact RECCSI via their website.