The idea of sticking their parents in a nursing home weighs heavily on many Baby Boomers. Martin Spencer has a solution: robots.
“Many people quit good paying jobs to keep their beloved mother or father out of the horrors of a nursing home,” said Spencer, who created the CareBot, a 4-foot, 100-pound, robot with a screen for a face and wheels for legs that reminds owners to take their medication.
If necessary, the CareBot calls emergency contacts and dials 911 and is fitted with a webcam to allow purchasers the ability to monitor and have video chats with their elderly relatives from anywhere.
Spencer said the CareBot – the lone product of his Atlanta-based startup GeckoSystems – should be available next fall for between $12,000 and $15,000 – a price point he said should alleviate pressure on family budgets by paring down the “hidden costs” of the aging crisis. Spencer added the financial hit of quitting a full-time job to become a caregiver or putting a loved one in a retirement home quickly runs into the tens of thousands. The cost savings and peace of mind will guarantee CareBot a spot in the burgeoning personal robot market, he said.
The CareBot should be available by the second or third quarter next year said Spencer, who expects to sell 6,000 robots in the first 12 months. In-home trials have to date been successful. However, the firm still needs to raise $750,000 to build and market the first robots.