Spotted by Lesley Price

The number of people living alone is on the rise in the US and other developed nations, and it’s definitely not a good thing. Loneliness and isolation are bad for your health, physically and mentally, so it’s in societies’ interests to think about how we can bring people together. Many blame technology for this fragmentation, but could it also help? Researchers from Korea think so, and they have developed a prototype robot named Fribo that encourages young people to text and call one another. Unlike many other robots built for the home, Fribo is not intended to be social itself, but to instead foster socializing in others. Fribos are intended to be distributed in a group of friends’ houses, creating what researchers call a “virtual living space” that brings together individuals who are physically isolated.