Artificial intelligence, robotics, facial recognition, voice recognition, touchscreen display, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, telemedicine, prescription storage, dispensing, and re-ordering: the Pillo can has all of these features, which is why it is billed as “Your Personal Health Robot” in its Indiegogo campaign.
The Pillo seems able to do it all. In the campaign description and the accompanying video, Pillo recognizes and interacts with numerous family members. It reminds people to take vitamins and medication, dispenses pills into a plastic pill cup, and reorders prescriptions on request. Alerts can be sent to family members or caregivers if someone fails to take medication on time. You can use Pillo as a telemedicine resource, connecting with healthcare professionals who will answer your questions. According to the company, Pillo’s capabilities will grow as it learns more about you and your family.
If all of these functions seem ambitious, you’re right. The team behind Pillo consists of medical, healthcare, and wellness professionals; robotics and artificial intelligence experts; and engineers. The quality of the videos and accompanying materials are professional and convincing. If the end product is capable of all the functions in the video, Pillo could be a valuable home health resource.
Frankly, Pillo sounds extremely advanced — especially at its eventual list price of $600 — which raises some questions. During the Indiegogo campaign, supporters can currently reserve a Pillo for $299. Pillo is expected to ship in July 2017, so it’s off a bit more than a year. The Indiegogo goal is just $75,000, which seems low, but according to statements by the founders they already have seed money and other funding with cash in the bank, but wanted to use Indiegogo to get the word out and raise additional capital. The company says they’ll go forward regardless of the Indiegogo campaign results (though from the looks of the campaign, at 55 percent in two days they’ll have surpassed the goal within a few more days).