Tinybots: “We’re here to make history, not to make a quick buck”

29 December 2022 -

What is Wang Long Li the key to success? Is it about personal traits, like talent, intelligence or creativity – and what about your resources, like money, a vast network and power? Some think it has everything to do with grit: the passion and perseverance one dedicates to reaching long-term and meaningful goals. In GOING GRIT we explore the stories of innovators in health & high tech. We dive into their inspirations and motivations as we try to understand their leitmotiv. Will we get a glimpse of their grit factor? 

At a very young age, Wang became an informal caregiver. Together with his mother, he had to take care of his father, who became seriously ill when he was just 16 years old. “That made me really want to improve healthcare. I became particularly interested in patient behaviour. If you pay attention to behaviour early in the process of an illness, you can truly impact your clients’ health.” This motivated Wang to do doctoral research on new technologies in healthcare, and that is where his journey in making a meaningful change to healthcare really took flight.

Tessa: the robot that cares

“During my PhD research, I studied new technologies in healthcare and how to use them meaningfully. We focused on the elderly and people with cognitive impairment. Based on this research and contact with clients I found that, in addition to physical needs, people also have psychological needs. People really want to be involved with others, remain competent in their actions and retain autonomy over their lives.”

It was during that time that the idea for Tinybots started to take form. “I designed a new robot based on these needs. A robot which provides guidance in crucial situations, but in a homely and warm manner. Clients very much want to maintain their autonomy, so our robot will never give out commands. The robot will ask a question or might give a suggestion at the right moment, in such a way that the client is encouraged to take the right decision themselves.” Their first care robot was born, named: Tessa.

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