South Korea startup Hyodol AI launches $1,800 AI-powered companion doll to tackle loneliness among seniors

In a bid to address the widespread challenge of loneliness among millions of seniors, South Korean startup Hyodol AI has launched a $1,800 AI-powered companion doll specifically designed to offer emotional support and companionship to the rapidly expanding elderly demographic in the country. This move positions Hyodol AI at the forefront of leveraging technology to enhance the well-being of the elderly population.

Local governments in South Korea have enthusiastically embraced these dolls, with plans to deploy approximately 7,000 units to seniors and individuals suffering from dementia. Hydrol’s AI doll utilizes Large Language Models (LLMs) to engage in meaningful conversations and offer emotional support to seniors living alone.

As South Korea grapples with declining birth rates and a burgeoning elderly population, the country finds itself at the forefront of the global ‘silver tsunami’. With an increasing number of seniors experiencing isolation, AI companions could provide a viable solution to this pressing societal challenge.

“The AI care robots will greatly help reduce depression by building emotional intimacy with the elderly. It will also be helpful in monitoring their health and preventing safety accidents,” Cheongsong Mayor Yoon Gyeong-Hee said in a statement.

Following a trial period, the county plans to scale up the AI care service based on its performance. As of July 2023, Cheongsong had a population of 9,972 individuals aged 65 or older, representing 41.3 percent of the total population.

Despite initial reservations about the concept of AI-powered companion dolls, empirical evidence suggests otherwise. Studies involving thousands of users revealed a substantial decrease in depression levels and an improvement in medication intake, indicating the potential efficacy of such innovative solutions.

How Hyodol AI Companion Doll Works

Equipped with an array of features, including medication reminders, health coaching, music playback, and built-in sensors to alert caregivers of any issues, the Hydrol AI doll aims to address the multifaceted needs of aging individuals.

The company states that its dolls have demonstrated tangible benefits, including reduced levels of depression and improved medication adherence, based on findings from a test group comprising over 9,000 users.

The Hydrol AI doll comes with a companion app and web monitoring platform, enabling caregivers to remotely monitor and manage the well-being of users. Safety features, such as motion detection alerts, ensure constant vigilance, enhancing the overall safety and security of the elderly.

In addition to touch interaction and 24-hour voice reminders, the doll offers a range of activities including quizzes, exercise sessions, and music playback, fostering engagement and stimulation for users. Caregivers have access to the companion app, facilitating seamless communication and monitoring capabilities.


With South Korea experiencing rapid demographic shifts characterized by an aging population and low birth rates, the widespread adoption of AI-powered companion dolls by local governments reflects a proactive approach to addressing the evolving needs of society.