Lee St. James founded Social Robots to apply her tech background to a social issue, close to home. Not able to spend as much time with her father while seeing the effects of social isolation, she took action.
Through this social enterprise, and with help from an Investment Readiness Program grant from the Community Foundations of Canada, through the Oakville Community Foundation, Lee is piloting the use of a friendly robot, complete with a tablet for interactive apps and photos, to engage seniors in retirement homes and long term care facilities. She’s addressing issues of social isolation and boredom while providing an interesting tool for Rec leaders to engage with their senior residents, and seeing positive results.
With a heightened awareness of the issue of social isolation due to COVID-19, Lee is seeing growing interest, and particularly from post-secondary institutions looking to embed this in their curriculum to prepare the next generations for better supporting our seniors populations.
Social Robots: https://socialrobots.ca
Investment Readiness Program through the Oakville Community Foundation:https://www.theocf.org/initiative/irp/
Lee St. James: https://www.linkedin.com/in/leestjames
Sheridan College – Centre for Elder Research: https://www.sheridancollege.ca/research/centres/elder-research
PARO Therapeutic Robots/Baby Seal: http://www.parorobots.com
Pepper – Canada’s first talking, dancing, emotionally sensitive robot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6aDHtRFZJ0