I read a nice article in The Age yesterday: Robots remind dementia sufferers to lead a fuller life.
As part of the PaPeRo family of robots developed by NEC in Japan, the robots – Charles, Sophie, Betty, Lucy, Matilda and Jack – can make phone calls and remind people about a range of events in their lives. The photo included in the hard copy newspaper report showed a clearly enamoured elderly person engaging with one of the members of this family. A media release by La Trobe University expresses support for the program noting:
‘The assistive robots, improved the emotional well-being and augmented good memories of people with dementia and made them feel more productive and useful. The robots also provided respite to carers and partners. They supported caregivers in residential care facilities in effective ways,’ Professor Khosla said.”
It seems that robots are able to step into the lives of far more people than dementia sufferers though. JIBO, touted as the world’s first family robot, certainly looks great!
I wouldn’t mind having JIBO assist me in my day-to-day life. He/She may well assist me in getting that little bit more organized and at the same time be great company!