SOURCE: GeckoSystems Intl. Corp.

March 11, 2010 00:05 ET

GeckoSystems' Elder Care Robot Trials Result in More Japanese Interest

CONYERS, GA--(Marketwire - March 11, 2010) -  GeckoSystems Intl. Corp. (PINKSHEETS: GCKO) (http://www.geckosystems.com/) -- announced today that their Japanese representative, Hajime Yasumatsu, has reported recently regarding his initiatives for GeckoSystems with another Japanese firm, in concert with Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). This is in addition to the previously announced discussions with the Japanese Export Trade Organization (JETRO) and a major Japanese mobile service robot developer, tmsuk Company, Ltd. GeckoSystems is a dynamic leader in the emerging mobile robotics industry revolutionizing their development and usage with "Mobile Robot Solutions for Safety, Security and Service™."

"During my upcoming trip to Japan late this month, I have made an appointment to visit a small sensor company in Tokyo which makes miniaturized sensors for blood pulse rate and electrocardiograph (ECG) data to be worn by the care receiver. They are one of the team members of NICT to develop non-invasive vital sign monitoring systems.

"Since I am planning to be in Tokyo from Mar. 29-31, I wish to visit JETRO's world headquarters at that time. Besides our ongoing discussions with JETRO, I am visiting tmsuk Company, Ltd. and now this medical sensor company, too. They are very focused on cost effective health care delivery using mobile robots," commented Hajime Yasumatsu, Chairman, Yasu, Inc., a Missouri Corporation.

Martin Spencer, President/CEO of GeckoSystems stated: "As all of us here at GeckoSystems are excited about this development, due to the delicacy of these past and future discussions, I feel it is in the best interest of all parties to not reveal the identity of this new entity and their heightened interest due to their being one of the more advanced non-invasive vital sign monitoring companies in Japan. They are sponsored by another Japanese government entity, NICT.

"I believe their interest in us is due to not only our flagship product, the automatic self navigation software, GeckoNav™, but also the reality that we have a complete multitasking personal robot, the CareBot™, with verbal interaction capabilities, GeckoChat™, and the ability to routinely follow a designated family member with GeckoTrak™ employing numerous sensor fusion systems, whether on board, off board, or a combination of both, for lower costs and increased reliability," noted Spencer.

"Reliability and higher system performance are the main factors driving sensor fusion," notes Frost & Sullivan research analyst, Praveen Chandrasekar, in the firm's report early last year, "Developments in Sensor Fusion, Technical Insights."

"GeckoSystems has been a top pioneer in the field of sensor fusion technology. We were extremely pleased to learn a year ago from Frost & Sullivan's report that our internally developed sensor fusion technologies have application in many significant markets other than the mobile service robot marketplace. These important insights will allow us to license our proprietary sensor fusion technologies to many firms outside of the emerging mobile robotics industry and increase ROI for our investors," observed Spencer.

According to Wikipedia: "Sensor fusion is the combining of sensory data or data derived from sensory data from disparate sources such that the resulting information is in some sense better than would be possible when these sources were used individually." 

Everyday we use "sensor fusion" in our routine activities. For example, we smell smoke and then look for a grayish cloud to determine the source of the smoke, its proximity and consequent degree of danger to us. In noisy crowds, when we talk with someone, we use lip reading to enable us to understand what we don't hear clearly. Humans use sensor fusion every day to make choices based on data that is interdependent or incomplete, versus using only one of our five senses. The better the sensor fusion, the better the choices and the more "actionable" the "situation awareness" is.

Since the CareBot presently uses multiple on board sensor fusion systems, the inclusion of off board, non invasive vital sign monitoring sensor systems is a straight forward and well understood process by GeckoSystems. Their advanced sensor fusion competencies enable the intelligent merging of off board sensors such as pulse rate, ECG, etc. using their proprietary expandable, extensible GeckoSavant™ technology architecture. 

"Our recently announced 'Mobile Robots in Motion' conference and ongoing world's first in home elder care robot trials have garnered many inquiries for us regarding our business model, technologies (many employing sensor fusion) available for licensing and interest in joint domestic and international ventures. We continue to expect technology licensing revenues to precede revenues from product manufacturing and sales. This augurs well for increased ROI and shareholder value for our investors," observed Martin Spencer, President/CEO, GeckoSystems.

This "Mobile Robots in Motion" conference will be held at GeckoSystems' new 4,000 square feet R&D and manufacturing facility in the Honey Creek area, just south of Conyers, Ga. Attendees, perhaps some from JETRO, will witness not only our flagship product, but also our proprietary automatic self-navigation software, GeckoNav™, and the reality that they have a complete multitasking personal companion robot, the CareBot™, with verbal interaction and 'command and control' capabilities arising from GeckoChat™, verbal reminders from GeckoChat and GeckoScheduler™ and the ability to routinely follow a designated family member with GeckoTrak™. This personal companion robot, the CareBot, has been in limited evaluation trials for over three months now.

The Japanese have their own eldercare crisis because of the size of their WWII widow population. Due to their understanding of the high costs of sufficient and appropriate eldercare, the Japanese government has spent one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) in grants (to Sanyo, Toshiba, Hitachi, Fujitsu, NEC, etc.) over the last eight to ten years to develop personal robots for their own eldercare crisis, yet no viable solutions have been developed by them to date.

The cost saving benefits of GeckoSystems' suite of mobile robot technologies will generate multiple revenue streams for GeckoSystems in the form of licensing, royalties, training, and sales of various hardware systems and subsystems. I expect the synergies in our cooperation to result in distribution into the Japanese market and enable significant cost reductions in the systems and subsystems we import from Japan. As one would expect, licensing revenues and a more competitive cost structure will increase shareholder value and ROI for our stockholders," opined Spencer.

About Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT):

NICT is an incorporated administrative agency of the Japanese government. NICT was established to carry out research and development in the field of information and communications technology, which supports the upcoming ubiquitous network society in an integrated manner from basis to application and also provides comprehensive assistance to the public and private organizations working in this field.

The results of research and development in NICT will be utilized for the international standardization and the technical transfer to the industry, and they are also in broad activities such as the research and development mobilizing the industry and the academia in order to put the technology to practical use, the research commission to universities, companies, etc., the venture support and the advanced support for infrastructures to accelerate the business planning.

In this way, NICT, as the sole national research organization, will continue to make efforts towards realizing a vigorous society and a wealthy life by supporting the national policy as for Information and Communications from the technical side in the field of information and communications.

NICT's information in English can be found at:
http://www2.nict.go.jp/pub/whatsnew/press/h21/090511/090511_e.html

About tmsuk Co., Ltd.:

tmsuk Co., Ltd. was founded on January 4, 2000, to create a safe and comfortable society in which people and robots can coexist. They are located at 465, Eguchi, Munakata-City, Fukuoka,811-3502 JAPAN

About JETRO:

The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a government-related organization that works to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world. JETRO is contained within the Japanese Ministry of Trade in their executive branch of their government. Originally established in 1958 to promote Japanese exports abroad, JETRO's core focus in the 21st century has shifted toward promoting foreign direct investment into Japan and helping small to medium size Japanese firms maximize their global export potential.

"Medical Equipment: How U.S. Companies Are Positioned to Get Ahead of Two Upcoming Shifts in Japan" http://www.jetro.org/content/515

About Frost & Sullivan:

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best in class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company's Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO's Growth Team with disciplined research and best practice models to drive the generation, evaluation and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from 31 offices on six continents. For more information about Frost & Sullivan's Growth Partnerships, visit http://www.Frost.com.

For more information regarding their report, vis a' vis GeckoSystems, visit
http://www.geckosystems.com/investors/

About GeckoSystems International Corporation:

Since 1997, GeckoSystems has developed a comprehensive, coherent, and sufficient suite of hardware and software inventions to enable a new type of home appliance (a personal robot) the CareBot, to be created for the mass consumer marketplace. The suite of primary inventions includes: GeckoNav, GeckoChat and GeckoTrak.

The primary market for this product is the family for use in eldercare, care for the chronically ill, and childcare. The primary distribution channel for this new home appliance is the thousands of independent personal computer retailers in the U.S. The manufacturing infrastructure for this new product category of mobile service robots is essentially the same as the personal computer industry. Several outside contract manufacturers have been identified and qualified their ability to produce up to 1,000 CareBots per month within four to six months.

The Company is market driven. At the time of founding, nearly 12 years ago, the Company did extensive primary market research to determine the demographic profile of the early adopters of the then proposed product line. Subsequent to, and based on that original market research, they have assembled numerous focus groups to evaluate the fit of the CareBot personal robot into the participant's lives and their expected usage. The Company has also frequently employed the Delphi market research methodology by contacting senior executives, practitioners, and researchers knowledgeable in the area of elder care. Using this factual basis of internally performed primary and secondary market research, and third party research is the factual basis for the Company's sales forecasts.

"We project the available market size in dollars for cost effective, utilitarian, multitasking eldercare personal robots in 2011 to be $74.0B, in 2012 to be $77B, in 2013 to be $80B, in 2014 to be $83.3B, and in 2015 to be $86.6B. With market penetrations of 0.03% in 2011, 0.06% in 2012, 0.22% in 2013, 0.53% in 2014, and 0.81% in 2015, we will anticipate CareBot sales, from this consumer market segment, only, of $22.0M, $44.0M, $176M, $440.2M, and $704.3M, respectively. We expect these sales despite -- and perhaps because of-- the present recession due to pent up demand for significant cost reduction in eldercare expenses," opined Spencer.

The Company's "mobile robot solutions for safety, security and service™" are appropriate not only for the consumer, but also professional healthcare, commercial security and defense markets. Professional healthcare require cost effective, timely errand running, portable telemedicine, etc. Homeland Security requires cost effective mobile robots to patrol and monitor public venues for weapons and WMD detection. Military users desire the elimination of the "man in the loop" to enable unmanned ground and air vehicles to not require constant human control and/or intervention.

The Company's business model is very much like that of an automobile manufacturer. Due to the final assembly, test, and shipping being done based on geographic and logistic realities; strategic business-to-business relationships can range from private labeling to joint manufacturing and distribution to licensing only.

Several dozen patent opportunities exist for the Company due to the many innovative and cost effective breakthroughs embodied not only in GeckoNav, GeckoChat, and GeckoTrak, but also in additional, secondary systems that include: GeckoOrient™, GeckoMotorController™, the GeckoTactileShroud™, the CompoundedSensorArray™, and the GeckoSPIO™.

The present senior management at GeckoSystems has over thirty-five years experience in consumer electronics sales and marketing and product development. Senior managers have been identified for the areas of manufacturing, marketing, sales, and finance.

By the end of this year, the Company plans to complete productization of its CareBot offering with the introduction of its fourth generation personal robot, the CareBot 4.0 MSR.

What Does a CareBot Do for the Care Giver?

The short answer is that it decreases the difficulty and stress for the caregiver that needs to watch over Grandma, Mom, or other family members most, if not much, of the time day in and day out due to concerns about their well being, safety, and security. 

But, first let's look at some other labor saving, automatic home appliances most of us use routinely. For example, needing to do two or more necessary chores and/or activities at the same time, like laundering clothes and preparing supper. 

The automatic washing machine needs no human intervention after the dirty clothes are placed in the washer, the laundry powder poured in, and the desired wash cycle set. Then, this labor saving appliance runs automatically until the washed clothes are ready to be placed in another labor saving home appliance, the automatic clothes dryer. While the clothes are being washed and/or dried, the caregiver prepares supper using several time saving home appliances like the microwave oven, "crock" pot, blender, and conventional stove, with possible convection oven capabilities. After supper, the dirty pots, pans, and dishes are placed in the automatic dishwasher to be washed and dried while the family retires to the den to watch TV, and/or the kids to do homework. Later, perhaps after the kids have gone to bed, the caregiver may then have the time to fold, sort, and put up the now freshly laundered clothes.

So what does a CareBot do for the caregiver? It is a new type of labor saving, time management automatic home appliance.

For example, the caregiver frequently feels time stress when they need to go shopping for 2 or 3 hours, and are uncomfortable when they have to be away for more than an hour or so. Time stress is much worse for the caregiver with a frail elderly parent that must be reminded to take medications at certain times of the day. How can the caregiver be away for 3-4 hours when Grandma must take her prescribed medication every 2 or 3 hours? If the caregiver is trapped in traffic for an hour or two beyond the 2 or 3 they expected to be gone, this "time stress" can be very difficult for the caregiver to moderate.

Not infrequently, the primary caregiver has a 24 hour, 7 days a week responsibility. After weeks and weeks of this sometimes tedious, if not onerous routine, how does the caregiver get a "day off?" To bring in an outsider is expensive (easily $75-125 per day for just 8 hours) and there is the concern that medication will be missed or the care receiver have an accident requiring immediate assistance by the caregiver, or someone they must designate. And the care receiver may be very resistant to a stranger coming in to her home and "running things."

So what is it worth for a care receiver to have an automatic system to help take care of Grandma? Just 3 or 4 days a month "off" on a daylong shopping trip, a visit with friends, or just take in a movie would cost $225-500 per month. And that scenario assumes that Grandma is willing to be taken care of by a stranger during those needed and appropriate days off.

So perhaps an automatic caregiver, a CareBot, might be pretty handy and potentially very cost effective from the primary caregiver's perspective.

What Does a CareBot Do for the Care Receiver?

It's a new kind of companion that always stays close to them enabling family and friends to care for them from afar. It tells them jokes, retells family anecdotes, reminds them to take medication, reminds them that family is coming over soon (or not at all), recites Bible verses, plays favorite songs and/or other music. It alerts them when unexpected visitors, or intruders are present. It notifies designated caregivers when a potentially harmful event has occurred, such as a fall, fire in the home, or simply been not found by the CareBot for too long. It responds to calls for help and notifies those that the caregiver determined should be immediately notified when any predetermined adverse event occurs.

The family can customize the personality of the CareBot. The voice's cadence can be fast or slow. The intonation can be breathy, or abrupt. The voice's volume can range from very loud to very soft. The response phrases from the CareBot for recognized words and phrases can be colloquial and/or unique to the family's own heritage. The personality can range from brassy to timid depending on how the caregiver, and others appropriate, chooses it to be.

Generally, the care receiver is pleased at the prospect of family being able to drop in for a "virtual visit" using the onboard webcam and video monitor for at home "video conferencing." The care receiver may feel much more needed and appreciated when their far flung family and friends can "look in" on them any where in the world where they can get broadband internet access and simply chat for a bit.

Why is Grandma really interested in a CareBot? She wants to stay in her home, or her family's home, as long as she possibly can. What's that worth? Priceless. Or, an average nursing home is $5,000 per month for an environment that is too often the beginning of a spiral downward in the care receiver's health. That's probably $2-3K more per month for them to be placed where they really don't want to be. Financial payback on a CareBot? Less than a year -- Emotional payback for the family to have this new automatic care giver? Nearly instantaneous.

Safe Harbor:
Statements regarding financial matters in this press release other than historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company intends that such statements about the Company's future expectations, including future revenues and earnings, technology efficacy and all other forward-looking statements be subject to the Safe Harbors created thereby. The Company is a development stage firm that continues to be dependent upon outside capital to sustain its existence. Since these statements (future operational results and sales) involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change at any time, the Company's actual results may differ materially from expected results.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    GeckoSystems Intl. Corp.
    www.GeckoSystems.com
    or
    Main number: 1-866-CAREBOT
    International: +1 678-413-9236