Personal Robots Offer Futuristic Elderly Care

Smart robots that respond to human behavior were only features in futuristic movies, until recent technological advancements have made them possible. Now people can engage in real time conversations with artificially intelligent devices, and these robots can provide household services. Engineers are especially excited about the potential for these devices in personal home care. Elderly and disabled people can interact with these programs, and robots are being developed to provide home services.

Robotic companions

Intuition Robotics, a tech startup, recently announced their latest solution to improve quality of life for the elderly. Their robot companion helps users interact with family and friends through video calls and social media. It also engages them with online games and recommends content for music and books based on user preferences. Artificial intelligence robots can’t replace human interaction, but they do offer a communication outlet for elderly people living alone. Companionship, even from an AI robot, helps fight off loneliness.

The latest technology in AI robotics makes them more effective in caring for a person’s health. These devices can prompt physical activity by suggesting a walk and remind people to take their medication. They can call for help in emergency situations. Newer, smarter technology learns individual preferences and recognizes faces to offer a customized user experience. Inventors continue to refine their AI robots based on consumer feedback.

Robotic pets

In one application example, studies show that dementia patients are responding well to robotic pets. Robots are equipped with sensors to respond to touch, hearing and temperature, so they react to human contact. These emotional companions respond to the sound of their name. Dementia patients benefit from the interaction, because it stimulates memories, gives them something to care for and reduces stress levels.

Robotic personal care

Governments around the world are devoting resources to the development of personal care robot technology because of its problem-solving potential. The U.S. is one of many countries that are running out of people and resources to care for an aging population. The elderly demographic is outgrowing the number of caregivers as people live longer and have fewer children. Robots are emerging as a solution to this trend.

Japan is leading robotic developments and technological advancements. Personal robots are being specifically engineered to help older generations with everyday tasks such as getting food, washing their hair or turning off lights. Humanoid robots that resemble a human body shape are being developed to assist the elderly in and out of wheelchairs, among other things.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is working to set standards for safe interaction between humans and robots. They’ve categorized service robots into physical assistant robots, mobile servant robots and person carrier robots. These devices are programmed to handle people who are frail and delicate in their old age. Personal robots can also help people keep their independence and reduce the cost of personalized care. Robotic care offers a promising solution for elderly care, but it presents some ethical concerns.

Concerns about personal care robotics

Personal care robots are still a developing technology. Many elderly care providers and family members are concerned about the potential risks involved. This responsive technology is able to learn and adjust to the patient, but it’s not intended to replace valuable human interaction. The consequences of a robot malfunction are serious. Scientists continue to develop safe, reliable solutions to the concerns surrounding elderly care robots. One of their main challenges is helping older generations become comfortable with the technology. It’s a foreign concept for many elderly and disabled people, which makes it seem scary and untrustworthy.

Smart robots are more than futuristic dreams because of technological advancements. Engineers have made it possible for personal robots to provide home care, especially for older generations. Elderly and disabled people can engage with these responsive programs and benefit from their assistance.