Industrial - Honours

Koro: Therapeutic Robot Companion

Koro is a therapeutic robot companion for people living with dementia (PwD) and their caregivers, in the context of at-home care. Koro helps carers by lowering stress through play and encouraging meaningful interactions between PwD and their caregivers, serving as an effective alternative to medication.

A problem, an opportunity

An opportunity was observed to implement technological solutions into the caregiving process, as clinical testing of new technologies such as VR therapy, robotic assistance and smart homes have been gaining traction within the dementia caregiving field. Robotic companions as a form of animal therapy have been specifically observed to improve PwD interaction, socialization and reducing depression, which in turn reduces the burden of care placed on caregivers.


This is Koro, a companionship robot with surveillance capabilities in the shape of a koala. Designed to be used at home, Koro provides social engagement, facilitates interaction, and relieves stress for both persons with dementia and their caregivers. Koro is controlled via an app and is primarily split between the two modes of Play and Monitor.


Koro is jam-packed with features such as smart AI, where interactions with PwD and caregivers shapes its personality and behaviour. Its interactive sounds and movements can also help distract from any physical or verbal agitation PwD may be displaying. In addition to this, Koro can also initiate memory games with PwD to stimulate their mind. The caregiver oversees all these interactions and in doing so Koro helps facilitate meaningful interactions with their loved ones.


Koro delivers peace of mind with its smart monitoring abilities, alerting caregivers if it detects distress from PwD (such as agitation or falling injuries) through the Koro app. The infrared camera, which is positioned on Koro’s nose delivers HD footage in both regular and night vision. Koro also includes cloud sharing, which means that video monitoring and recording can be easily accessible on any laptop, smartphone or tablet.


Koro can be customized in a number of ways. The first is through colour variations, in which different finishes can be applied to Koro. Another is clothing that can be personalized to help stimulate PwD reminiscence (e.g a blinky bill costume). Other tactile attachments such as fur and other engraved textures can also be added onto Koro as future additions. Koro was designed to be a long-term solution, and in doing so requires new attachments to make it fresh and exciting.

Koro isn’t designed to replace the caregiver but to help them become a better caregiver

Koro App design

Koro is accessed through the Koro app which has four main aspects: Play, monitor, settings and tutorial. An app format was chosen since phones are largely available and cheap, making them an affordable choice for caregivers. Considerations such as big blocks and large font in the app UI was made to increase usability and navigation as caregivers may be in the elderly age bracket and not be as technologically savvy.



To summarize, Koro is a lovable robotic companion meant to bring out the best from the caregiver so that they may provide a better quality of care for their loved ones with dementia.




Hsuan Lee

Hsuan is a detail-orientated and passionate Industrial Designer, thinker and tinkerer. Driven by curiosity, he is interested in developing technologies such as additive manufacturing and mixed reality environments and strives to use design as an engine of change to improve the world around him.