An upgraded version of ElliQ — a robot designed to act as a companion for older adults — is now available for anyone to buy. The bot has been under development by Israeli startup Intuition Robotics for years, but a first version (launched in March) was only built in limited capacity. The new ElliQ 2.0 comes with upgraded features including new conversation prompts, virtual experiences, and an app for family members and carers.

ElliQ consists of a digital display and a light-up “bobble head” that moves and reacts to users’ conversation. Intuition Robotics describes the bot as a way to combat many nations’ “loneliness epidemic,” or the increasing number of older adults living alone. The company says ElliQ can act as a proactive tool to…

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