How Is Robotics Helping The Elderly With Humanoids And Nurse Robots?

Can it replace the existing caregivers?


Care and affection are understandably sometimes the most crucial factors in the life of an older person. But, unfortunately, different pre-existing or the acquired diseases among the elderly are basically because of the lack of care and medication not provided in real-time.

Today’s modern society is in a rush to achieve something, wherein some don’t get the time and the will to look after their parents or the elderly. In some cases, people are ready to spend enough money for the well-being of the elderly but fail to give the care required.

Robotics has answered so many questions for society. Can it help the elderly lead a happy and stable life? Can it be a successful approach towards timely medication, care, and well-being? Well, I guess this piece of writing would help you.

How does a Humanoid Robot help?

We all know about Sofia, the first social humanoid robot in the world. Back in 2016, it was an incredible evolution that turned the fantasies of a robotic world into reality. Today humanoid robots are used for so many different purposes ranging from domestic help to daily routine.

Recently, researchers front the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, have studied the potential and efficiency of a humanoid robot that could take care of older people. This study analyzed the skill of humanoid creatures in helping loneliness among the elderly. Moreover, the humanoid robots offered a presence and energy with games at any time of the day.

This virtual tool with a real impact named Nadine, a robotic platform by Magnenat Thalman, can communicate in multiple languages. It can also recognize faces and interact with them. 

Further, to analyze the capabilities of a humanoid robot in taking care of an older one, the researchers employed it at Bright Hill Evergreen Nursing Home, Singapore. The study included responses of 29 residents who were 60 years old.

The experiments included playing games with the elderly and capturing emotions and interactions, and the results were quite surprising. The older people were significantly happier and more attentive when playing with Nadine. 

In a different research, a team from Hong Kong responsible for Sofia the humanoid robot also came up with a robot that could help COVID-19 patients at home isolation. Grace, the humanoid nurse, showed different capabilities from detecting temperature with thermal cameras and even interacting in multiple languages.

Grace, the nurse robot, was presented by the Hanson Robotics Company. It uses artificial intelligence to diagnose patients. As per company findings, Grace’s resemblance to a healthcare professional and her ability to socialize intends to ease the burden on the overwhelmed front-line hospital staff during the pandemic.

The teams from Hong Kong and Singapore are developing social robots and improving their ability for further usage. Such studies conducted in different parts of the world will further inspire the researchers to implement social robots for entertainment, medication, and mental support.

Robotics and the Service: Reliability Factor and After Effects

As per reports from Japan, there will be an acute shortage of caregivers by the year 2025. Similarly, the U.S. also predicts that the number of people aged above 65 will also increase by 2050.

An essential solution for the people and society is the massive adoption of elder care robots in the future. As per the International Federation of Robotics 2018 service reports, the sale of medical robots has increased substantially and will continue doing so.

Numerous tasks in our daily lifestyle that seemed simple to us may not be the same for the elderly. Therefore, a technical aid like a humanoid nurse or other robotic applications proves helpful in such situations.

They perform small functions like fetching food and water, helping with social and emotional needs, entertainment, dementia problems, a reminder of events, and social engagement. Moreover, several specialized robots could even use powerful hydraulics for mobility and transportation.

When we count on these benefits, one must and ought to consider the threats and challenges it might come with. Proper surveillance methodologies implemented with technologies like Artificial Intelligence should be deployed to prevent unwanted circumstances.

The above situation would undoubtedly turn out to be a considerable debate, wherein the problems of leaving humans with a machine would have so many fallacies. People can only achieve the reliability and trust factor with guidance and surveillance. Once found safe, users can employ it successively. Apart from robotic nurses and caregivers, we also come across reports of animal robots for the elderly.

The world is witnessing massive changes, and the transition is really encouraging. But the question remains regarding the effectiveness of virtual affection from machines. Is it everlasting?

Mannu Mathew

Mannu Mathew

An optimist, working, researching, and analyzing the technology sphere from all possible vectors. Reach out at [email protected]
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