Giraff Technologies: From Silicon Valley to Sweden

Giraff Technologies telepresence robot, the Giraff, pictured interacting with a man.

With the majority of telepresence robots primarily targeting the business world, Giraff Technologies has taken a slight pivot since its inception and is focusing exclusively on the health care field. The founder of Giraff Technologies, Stephen Von Rump originally developed the idea in Silicon Valley and had ambitions for taking over the business world with his technology.  However, at the same time, he felt helpless in the ability to take care of his parents thousands of miles away.  The concern for his parents sparked a change in the development of the Giraff.

While the birth of the Giraff telepresence robot originated in Silicon Valley, the company has been transplanted to Västerås, Sweden to be part of the Robotdalen, literally Robot Valley in central Sweden. This has allowed them to take part in several EU initiatives aimed at improving the quality of elderly care. Giraff technologies recently was named the “Most Promising Innovation” by Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), a leading European organization, with aims to create a better quality of life for older adults in Europe.

The Giraff Technologies helps elderly people to increase their quality of life by allowing them to safely remain in their homes longer, by enabling an easily achieved increase in the number of visits from physicians and health care workers, and most importantly, by helping maintain ties with family members and friends, which helps to avoid feelings of isolation.  Feedback about the Giraff has been very positive and Giraff Technologies is learning that their success is found not as much in their technology, as it is in their ability to listen to people and create a great experience for their family members and loved ones. Using telepresence technology is a means to a solution and not merely the solution itself.

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