I’m Paula Santolaya, reporting live from SANTOLIVE in my virtual reality. Have comments, opinions, or suggestions? Post them in the comments section or email me at email@example.com.
The aging of the population in some countries is a real challenge, taking into account that old people make use of most of the public health services.
The confinement situation to stop the coronavirus has revealed the sad situation of some elderly people due to the lack of caregivers helping them with their daily routine.
For this reason, many scientists have started working on a solution: the healthcare robots. These robots give physical and mental support to the elderly, from exoskeletons (external exkeleton that allows a person to stand upright) to personal assistants which tell them when they have to eat, what pill they should take and even give them conversation.
The Government of Japan, due to the aging of the population and the lack of nursing staff, launched in 2018 a technological plan for robots to take care of the 80% of the elderly in 2020. This was not successful because of the lack of financing, high costs and the current coranavirus crisis. But some nursing homes tested robots to help old people in their daily tasks: getting out of bed, exercising or even playing with they.
The main advantage of using this machines is the reduction of the physical and mental burden on workers. Robots will NOT replace caregivers, since they will continue to be needed, but they will focus on a more personal and psychological care, especially in people with Alzheimer’s desease.
In the current situation of confinement, the ‘grandbots’ could solve the problem of many old people. We must overcome the taboos that Artificial intelligence creates and seriously think about what robots can help us with.