Family Nanny Robot to Provide Help with Elder Care
Chinese robotics company Siasun is addressing the elder care crisis with a “Family Nanny” robot that may help alleviate loneliness in addition to caring for an elderly person.
The five-foot tall robotic nanny can call police, send text messages, sense gas leaks, and converse. If it perceives an emergency via its physical detection system, the robot initiates a remote signal to the appropriate person to tell them about the problem and ask for help. And it's even energy efficient, with a battery that lasts 8 hours on a 2 hour charge. The cost of the robot is anticipated at $1500, and it should be available to consumers in five years or less. Check out the video below to see these robots in action:
Siasun joins several other companies producing elder care robot prototypes to address the problem of caring for the world’s increasing aging population. RI-MAN, a prototype developed by the Japanese government-sponsored Riken research center, can hear and obey commands, sense odors, and even carry a human carefully.
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst have also developed a personal care robot, uBOT-5, that can dial 911 if an emergency occurs, help with grocery shopping, remind clients to take medication, and provide family members with status updates through an Internet connection.
Although robots may not be able to provide total care for the elderly, they may prove to be an effective tool by assisting family members with continuous oversight of a loved one, and by reducing the burdens placed upon human caretakers. Watch for more technology solutions for elder care as the US census figures come in and update national aging statistics.