MARIO, the robot that is helping people with dementia feel connected

MARIO stands for Managing Active and healthy ageing with use of caRing servIce robOts, and has been developed by a team of scientists from Ireland.

These are companion robots that are making a substantial change in the lives of elderly people with dementia.

MARIO is a white robot with large animated eyes and was developed by a team from the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), along with experts from the healthcare sector, robotics industry, and dementia groups.

MARIO can be activated by voice or a touchscreen and allows people with dementia to read newspapers, listen to their favourite songs, get reminders of events, store family photographs, and connect with friends and families.

Experts say MARIO is a welcome addition as loneliness is a key public health concern for everyone, especially people with dementia.