With the recruitment of Swiss distributor Robo Meier, Dutch firm Smartrobot Solutions will now offer its successful care robot Maatje in Switzerland as well. In addition to the approximately 300 copies of this robot that are already active in the Netherlands, there are now editions for many different countries in various languages, from German and French to Finnish and Turkish.
Care robot Maatje has a wide range of applications for a wide variety of users, from prisons to hospitals. “The reason so many different organizations use this robot is that we have developed a platform ourselves that users only have to fill,” says Richard Kuijpers, owner of Smartrobot Solutions. “In healthcare, people don’t have time to program robots themselves. They want to tailor those robots to the needs of their clients. ”
This concept, which has already led to the use of about 300 robots in the Netherlands, can also count on interest in other European countries. “This fits in with the new contract we have with a Swiss distributor, who will offer it in German and French. So we are going to conquer the healthcare market there now. ”
Kuijpers compares the role of Maatje in healthcare with a tailor-made version of Alexa or Siri. “For example, the robot can help people with dementia to recognize their grandchildren. In youth care, Maatje can ask clients how they feel when the robot notices that people are tense. And if it turns out that people are not doing well, Maatje can send a warning to caretakers. Other applications include helping to dress or indicating when medication should be taken.”
There is a huge number of potential applications. “We will continue to develop for different target groups, for example by making links with smart devices. The great thing is that the robot looks like a small person, which helps with acceptance, both with the elderly and with children. And because it has a 4G card, people can take the robot with them. There are clients who take the robot with them to their therapy. ”
“This way we offer a tool that clients can use to fill in what they use it for. That is the strength of this concept, they do not have to go back to the manufacturer for every adjustment, which would only lead to additional costs. The goal is to make the robot as open as possible, to ensure that it is actually used.”