Disruptors Co logo

Innovation Changes Lives When it Becomes Assistive Tech

By Gavin Heaton

One of the promises of a social impact and wellbeing focused technology accelerator like unboxd was the opportunity to not just change, but radically transform, lives. For the greater good.

When we talk about technology and innovation, it can sometimes sound like gibberish. It makes us think of the brightest and shiniest device that we own. It makes us think of LEDs, robots and mechanical sounds. But rarely does it look, feel and sound “human”.

But imagine a place where robots are providing people with a disability a chance to work in ways that have never before been possible. This is the case in a pilot program called the Avatar Cafe. Open for two weeks in late 2018, specially designed robots took orders, served coffee and meals and conversed with customers.

But what was different, was these robots were far from autonomous. They were being operated remotely over 5G networks. Developed by Ory Lab Inc, the robots provided ten people from across Japan with technology and access to the robots, receiving hourly pay for their work. For some it was the first time they had been able to work in years, and listening to the interviews there was a real sense that the technology, rather than getting in the way of live interaction, was making that sense of “living” and “connection” possible.

This is an innovation and technology worth striving for. It is what we mean when we talk about a “tech positive” life. Let’s see more of it.

More insights and impact

Keep up-to-date with the latest innovation and digital strategy.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.