ROBOTS that talk could hold the key to preventing loneliness in older adults, scientists believe. Two of the devices – called Genie – are already providing company and support for residents at a care home when relatives cannot visit.

The trial is part of a groundbreaking study by the University of Plymouth to see how robots affect loneliness and wellbeing. Molly, 94, is taking part in the trial at the Lilian Faithfull Care Home in Cheltenham, Gloucs. Her daughter Suzanne said the robots not only help the elderly but their families too. She said: “My mum is 95 in February – she has no friends, apart from the few acquaintances she’s got in here. She relies heavily on family.”

Genie was invented by Rob Parkes and Tim Morgan who both had elderly relatives who found it difficult to adjust to living alone after losing partners.

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