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Robots leading workout sessions

Robocoach offers personalised exercise routines for seniors in Singapore Suparna Goswami Bhattacharya November 5, 2015: Ever thought how it would be if a robot becomes your gym trainer? Well, this is how the elderly in Singapore are keeping themselves fit, for they are getting trained by a robot. In its quest to be a Smart Nation in the next 10 years, the Singapore Government recently launched...

Robocoach offers personalised exercise routines for seniors in Singapore

Suparna Goswami Bhattacharya

November 5, 2015: Ever thought how it would be if a robot becomes your gym trainer? Well, this is how the elderly in Singapore are keeping themselves fit, for they are getting trained by a robot.

In its quest to be a Smart Nation in the next 10 years, the Singapore Government recently launched ‘Robocoach’, a robot developed to help seniors in Singapore exercise and stay healthy.

Like every developed nation, Singapore faces the challenge of an ageing population. Hence, the government wants to leverage technology to revolutionise healthcare in the country.

Enhanced with sensors, Robocoach offers personalised exercise routines for seniors and at the same time ensures that they are performed in the right way to ensure maximum benefit and result.

Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), in collaboration with Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), had conceived the idea of the Robocoach which was developed by Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP). “This is part of a larger effort to help various segments of society, including seniors, enhance their quality of life through infocomm. Due to the rise in the ageing population, there has also been high demand for healthcare and eldercare professionals,” says Christina Gan, Cluster Director, Social & Family Development, IDA.

Trained volunteers are also present to help seniors during the routine. Currently active in one Senior Activity Centre (SAC), IDA will be extending Robocoach to five more SACs over the next year. This is one of the many initiatives under the Digital Inclusion initiative aimed at building a digitally inclusive society that brings infocomm to people from all walks of life.

“The efforts are in line with helping our seniors get digitally connected, and harnessing the power of technology to unlock new gateways for our various vulnerable segments in society, i.e. seniors in this case. We want to help our seniors age actively, and gain independence as well as enjoy better quality of life, by introducing tech-enabled initiatives,” says Gan.

The robot is a part of Singapore’s Smart Nation scheme to apply the newest technology to virtually every aspect of the country’s operations — be it always-on public web connectivity across the country to more important issues like population density healthcare, and energy efficiency.

Gan feels that technology plays a critical role in helping to improve the lives of citizens, create more opportunities and build stronger communities, especially as Singapore works to becoming the world’s first Smart Nation where everyone will be able to enjoy the benefits of infocomm.

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