Social Robots was pleased to be an exhibitor at the AGE-WELL national conference in Regina, Saskatchewan on October 18-20, 2022. Our founder, Lee St James, introduced Mindy to hundreds of older adults, researchers and industry partners. She was also interviewed by CTV News!  

From the CTV article by Donovan Maess: “…Virtual reality, simulators or social robots like ‘Mindy,’ were showcased at the conference. They could play games or music or help a grandchild spark a conversation with their grandparents when they aren’t sure what to talk about.”

“She really helps to engage older adults because it’s not just a tablet itself,” said Lee St. James, Social Robots president and founder. “It’s the physical form factor of almost being like a visit with a grandchild.”

Lee being interviewed by CTV news with Mindy beside her
Ron Beleno, Mindy, Lee<br />

At the AGE-WELL national conference, Lee was pleased to finally meet Ron Beleno – a tireless advocate for dementia, caregiving, aging, and research communities and recipient of the 2020 AGE-WELL Honorary Fellow Award.

The two have ‘met’ numerous times via Zoom during the Pandemic, but this was their first in-person meeting!

Robot Handlers

One of the key challenges that Lee has started to address is getting people comfortable with how easy the robots are to use. The ‘robot handler’ can be a recreation staff member, family caregiver, volunteer or the older adults themselves. For the AGE-WELL national conference, we provided quick training tips and a chance for some hands-on practice.

Robot Handler badge - level 1

Donna and Rosalin from Hardy Bay Senior Citizens’ Society stopped by to meet Mindy. They earned their Level 1 Robot Handler badges!

Donna and Rosalin (holding tablet) standing beside Mindy

Recap of the Conference

The theme of this year’s AGE-WELL national conference was Innovating for a Better Future. At the opening “Drinks & Demos” reception, Lee was delighted to meet Sarah Thomas, CEO of Delight by Design and Co-Founder of AgeTech News and introduce her to Mindy. Sarah was the keynote speaker on “Designing for the Evolving AgeTech Consumer”.

There were a number of start-ups and innovators there, as well as many academics and industry partners. Many thanks to Cal Koskowich from the National Research Council (NRC) for the many introductions and also for dancing with Mindy! (Watch the full CTV News video to see what we mean!)

Additional highlights of the event are provided in a summary on the AGE-WELL website: Hotlink to AGE-WELL web page

For more information, please contact us!