Skills for Care

Robots join in bingo and Tai chi at Manchester care provider

24 Apr 2023

5 min read

Skills for Care

  • Digital
  • Good news story

At Brunswick Village Extra Care Scheme, run by Age UK Manchester, an exciting partnership with Manchester University has seen robots involved in activity sessions.

Brunswick Village is an extra care housing scheme, which includes from Age UK Manchester, a day care service, bistro and opportunities and social activities for tenants of the village and other local older people.

The location of Brunswick Village means it’s in a perfect position for building connections with local organisations such as the Manchester Museum, the Manchester Aquatic Centre and Manchester University to provide activities to suit a range of interests for everyone.

Through a partnership formed with Professor Angelo Cangelosi and his team from The School of Robotics at Manchester University, the care provider has been able to offer some exciting opportunities for people to enjoy activity sessions involving robots.

The activity is part of research by the university to explore the levels of trust and confidence that older adults may (or may not) have in robots. This is a really unique opportunity to look into the future as the team investigate the capacity that robots may have to deliver some care and support tasks in the future.

So far at Brunswick Village groups of older people have been introduced to robots who can lead Tai chi sessions and call bingo.

Feedback is sought from group members after each session to gauge their reaction to the robots. Further sessions are planned for the near future, and these have so far been very popular. The sessions have been organised in a fun way that has attracted people to join in.

There’s an understanding amongst all of the people who take part that the team from Manchester University are working on innovations that could become part of the future for care and support and they’re pleased that their input has been requested to help to shape things.

Feedback from the sessions have included:

We have been surprised by the range of things the robots are able to do.

It’s been a fun session; the robot bingo caller needs to be made easier to understand – and to call out more of my numbers!

It’s great to be asked to be a part of things that are planned for the future.

Find more inspiring and positive stories from the social care sector with our #CelebratingSocialCare spotlight.

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