Solution for Elder Care: Robots

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed Cody, a robotic nurse the university says is “gentle enough to bathe elderly patients.” There is also HERB, which is short for Home Exploring Robot Butler. Made by researchers at Carnegie Mellon, it is designed to fetch household objects like cups and can even clean a kitchen. Hector, a robot that is being developed by the University of Reading in England, can remind patients to take their medicine, keep track of their eyeglasses and assist in the event of a fall.

The technology is nearly there. But some researchers worry that we are not asking a fundamental question: Should we entrust the care of people in their 70s and older to artificial assistants rather than doing it ourselves? (NYT)

Comments (11)

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  1. Studebaker says:

    Forget elderly patients, I want a robot that is trustworthy enough to clean my house and mow my grass!

  2. Bubba says:

    Didn’t we see that in the movie, iRobot, with Will Smith? As I recall, the robots tried to take over the world.

  3. John Fembup says:

    Jack Williamson.

    “with Folded Hands”

  4. Jordan says:

    There was a piece about this in Japan. Given the labor elasticity of nursing home care — I’m not surprised this is getting a lot of attention.

  5. August says:

    Preventing progress becasue it may alter decisions it taking away the individuals opportinity to make the decison.

    That kind of thinking is bad.

  6. Roget says:

    I like how they’re targeting the elderly. Sort of violates that whole ethical validity thing for experimentation.

  7. Nigel Molesworth says:

    Interesting question posed. I think complete human negligence to the care of the elderly would be a bad idea, because of the possibility of machine malfunctions that could cause neglect of elderly patient or harm them. Elderly care should have human supervision, but it would be acceptable to use robots/computerized machinery to help out.

  8. William Jones says:

    If the elderly have the ability to consent to it, there isn’t a problem in my book.

  9. JD says:

    Good. Let the robots do the jobs us humans won’t do. Cue “They took ‘er jobs!”.

  10. Yo Yo Ma says:

    I know that Japan is way ahead of us in this trend, and rightfully so since they have been experiencing a aging demographic for sometime now.

  11. David Hogberg says:

    What is this “we” business? Shouldn’t it be the individual person who decides on whether to have care from a person or a robot?