Comments

  1. Kevin Doughty

    Domestic Robots

    Our great-grandmothers would have laughed at the thought of automatic washing machines, electric toasters and colour analogue televisions. These were domestic appliances developed in the 20th century for people who worked too hard and had no time to themselves.

    In the 21st century, there will be many more older people who live on their own and who find both domestic and personal care tasks increasingly difficult. It is inevitable that intelligent domestic appliances will be developed to cater for these needs and to allow people to remain independent. But let’s not call them robots – and let’s not try to make them look like humans.

    When someone actually makes a usable device that can help someone put on their own socks then they will be onto a winner. The same can be said for getting into bed, cleaning the windows and having a wash. The challenge is to make them in such numbers and so universally popular that everyone will want one. That’s a design issue. When we can get that right, we can add the telecare sensors and monitoring for a fraction of the cost of current systems, giving us the potential to provide Total Telecare with all the benefits to individuals and society.

  2. Donna Cusano

    Get (Your House) Smart–Robotics at CHS
    Robots don’t seem to be a big part of connected health yet. The ‘smart house’ breakout presentation was the only one I attended that mentioned it, only in passing (Tom Ryden of North End Technologies). The lack of attention may be because robotics is still in early stages, or because the Japanese have promoted robopets which are for comfort not function. I could see larger robots like this helping in group home settings, performing maintenance or heavy lifting, and repetitive tasks. Right now this full size “appliance” is scary (imagine the reaction of a person in early stage dementia)–smaller, more agile (and non-threatening) may be the way to go.