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Nationwide teams up in testing home-assistance robots


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Nationwide wants to know if  a new generation of personal robots can help people stay at home as they age or face health issues.

The Columbus insurance and financial services company has struck a partnership with robotics company Labrador Systems, which is developing robots designed to assist people moving items around their home.

Nationwide sees the robots as a way to help people live well in retirement  by allowing them to live longer in their homes, in addition to providing support for their caregivers.

“Everyone wants to stay at home,’’ said Bobbi Jo Allan, Nationwide Innovation vice president. “If this is something that can help people do that longer, that feels like a win for all involved.”

“What we’re looking at is not to replace the caregiver,” said Mike Dooley, Labrador’s CEO. “But how do you be an extension of the caregiver, how do you extend their impact?”

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