Fribo: An Artificial Colleague for Young and Lonely People 1

As per latest studies, it has been found out that the number of lonely youths in the US and other developing nations are increasing with time. It is a fact that isolation and loneliness will affect one both mentally, and physically. It is always necessary for all of us to meet and spend time with others to remove loneliness.

Korean scientists have proposed a solution for the same by developing Fribo. It is a prototype robot that entices lonely youths to call and send messages to each other. These robots are planned to be distributed among a group of friends to be kept in their houses. It helps to make ‘virtual living space’ for physically isolated people.

How Fribo Works?

While placing in individual’s homes, the Fribo keeps on tracking the activities of the house. Then inform other users about the same to help them connect and talk to each other via chat apps. It has sensors and microphones that are working together. It records every type of activities like opening a door, watching a TV, or when somebody comes home.

FriboIt passes such information anonymously to rest of the group members. People in the group can come to know about the activity of their friend. They can contact with each other and discuss further regarding the same. Fribo also helps its users to communicate with each other through it with ease.

A user can either use to discuss on a group chat via messages or can knock two times near the Fribo; The robot will identify the sound and further pass on the direct message to another user. When any user got an anonymous message via a Fribo regarding a friend’s activity, he or she can approve the same by clapping three times.

How it Differ from other Social Communication Mediums?

First of all, it works automatically by listening to the home activities. So that a user does not needs to volunteer its information to the targeted people like social news feeds. It’s a unique and exciting concept on its own. Especially for the people who hesitate to share about their life activities among their friends.

Fribo mechanism
Fribo: A) Light Sensor, B) LCD Screen, C) Ultrasonic Sensor, D) Speaker, E) Microphone, F) Sound Sensor, G) Humidity and Temperature Sensor, H) Raspberry Pi

After testing, Fribo has received an ample amount of positive reviews from its users. It has been presented in the Human-Robot Interaction, an international conference organized by ACM/IEEE. It is turning out to be a best friend of its alone youth users. One among its users has admitted the fact that it is a pleasant experience to talk with this robot. It is easy to share and tell everything that is not easy to say to anybody else.

What are the Current Challenges?

Since the Fribo has been designed and tested by keeping the Korean people in mind as per their mentality. So the researchers are worried about how people of other different nations will react. Also, some of the testers are concerned about the privacy effects of using it. Since the Robot is sharing the user’s information about their daily activity with others.

Till now there are very fewer hurdles in front of Fribo to be called as the best robot without having any user’s issue while using it. It has been predicted that these things will be solved with time. Fribo is designed with cheap construction since it is having primary sensors and a simple screen.

The robot gets the power from a Raspberry Pi. All such things increase the possibility of its adaption by users all over the world. Lonely people always desire of having a best friend in their life may be a robot like Frido can make it possible!

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