From administration of medicines to helping with activities of daily living, a number of robots currently under development are positioning to come to the aid of the aging population—namely to fill in care “gaps.”
Research under way at several U.S. institutions including the Georgia Institute of Technology and Carnegie Mellon University will change the nature of caring for older people through technology, writes the New York Times in a recent article. Robots, in particular, will be needed to fill in an increasing gap between the number of people who need care and the number of people who are able—and willing—to provide it, the NY Times writes.
“There are two trends that are going in opposite directions. One is the increasing number of elderly people, and the other is the decline in the number of people to take care of them,” Jim Osborn, a roboticist and executive director of the Robotics Institute’s Quality of Life Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University, told the Times. “Part of the view we’ve already espoused is that robots will start to fill in those gaps.”
One robot under development at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Cody, can perform tasks from kitchen cleaning to bathing. Others in the works, such as Carnegie Mellon’s Home Exploring Robot Butler, “HERB,” can provide reminders, find household objects and help prevent falls, the Times writes.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker