Designed to provide fun and motivational exercise, Moto Tiles offers a variety of games to cater to individual ability levels. The tiles, designed as puzzle pieces, can be arranged in any manner to provide flexibility to the game and are controlled via the MOTO app on a provided tablet. The tiles provide elders an alternative form of exercise that is new and interesting and therefore, engaging. The innovative yet comprehensive format of the games makes Moto Tiles easy to use and both physically and mentally simulating as it differs from conventional training programs.
When asked about the inspiration behind Moto Tiles, creator of Moto Tiles, Professor Henrik Hautop Laud from Denmark shared that he has been working on research projects together with the LEGO company for more than two decades, and this led to his realisation that, “society could make good use of an intelligent LEGO block for physical play for all ages”. Hence, Moto Tiles was the product of “long-term research into play, playware and modular robotics”. The similarity to LEGO blocks affords Moto Tiles the versatility to be transformed into hundreds of different set-ups with the same blocks, creating a vast range of physical interactions, which are good for both physical abilities and cognitive abilities. The effect of Moto Tiles on the functional abilities was reflected in clinical effect studies carried out by Technical University of Denmark as well as cognitive tests by Hitachi spin-out NeU. The conclusion made was that playful training gives significant effects with substantially less training sessions than what is needed with more traditional training methods.
In addition to this, well-designed playful technology like Moto Tiles is able to marry physical actions and social interactions together. The joy felt by the elders as they complete the games brings them the feeling of being able to do more than they normally would, which renews their sense of positivity and accomplishment in their daily living. Hence, playful technology acts as a catalyst for active ageing as people are seamlessly pushed into active lifestyles.
Professor Henrik also shared that empowering elders to accomplish more by themselves was vital in catering to the ageing sector. He explained that unlike many other robotics companies focused on developing assistive technology, Entertainment Robotics believed in developing technology that would, “not only assist seniors in performing activities of daily living, but actually allow seniors to maintain or regain their own skills to perform their activities of daily living”. Professor Henrik went on to elaborate with an example:
…developing a smart wheel chair will help you to go from A to B as an assistive technology, but the more you use the wheelchair, the more your balancing skills and leg strength will diminish. So we need to rethink the way we develop such assistive technology to become smart tools, which will allow you to retain, regain, and increase your skills.”
In 2018, Moto Tiles won the Innovation of the Year – Product category at the Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards.
Moto Tiles has garnered huge interest around the world and companies, like Mizuno in Japan, have also begun distributing Moto Tiles to nursing homes, senior activity centers and hospitals. This interest reflects the acknowledgement of the international community of the value of developing play technology in the future of eldercare.