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Amibotics' first robot was delivered at the beginning of January to Furulund's nursing home outside Gothenburg, to enable human encounters in a virus-proof way.

Instead of waving from a distance, relatives with the robot Ohmni, a "Skype on wheels", can visit and socialize digitally with their elderly, with a sense of presence and control that has not previously been possible.

-Mom has recently found it increasingly difficult to handle mobile phones, but now we can handle the technology and she can focus on our conversation. The robot's sound, image and ability to spin around the room, gives a feeling of presence that we did not think we could achieve at a distance, says Ann-Cathrine.

At Furulunds Äldreboende, Renée and her daughter Ann-Cathrine have been among the first in Sweden to test Ohmni, a remote-controlled robot.

Robots are nothing new in our digital society, from early factory automation to today's artificial intelligence. It has been a growing fact in life for decades, but the difference now is the need for robots to increase communication between people. When the possibility of physical encounters was severely limited during the pandemic, new innovation was required to create human encounters with the elderly. Many older people are prevented from chatting with children and grandchildren via smartphones, due to both physical barriers and lack of knowledge in the digital world. Through communication robots, relatives can invite themselves to conversations by controlling the robot and visiting digitally, without the elderly having to move or learn how the technology works.

-When the pandemic struck, and isolated our elderly, our vision was born to enable human encounters in an innovative way. Now we are taking further steps in digitalisation, over physical thresholds that today prevent or limit encounters between people, comments Johan Wiking, founder of Amibotic.

Amibotics' most important task in the coming months will be to help families with new opportunities for communication with the elderly and sick during the ongoing societal crisis.

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