If you want to see one element to the future of companion robots, look to Japan. The country is currently facing an elderly crisis. As more and more individuals hit retirement age, the nation is now faced with the problem of lackluster resources to manage the issue care. A number of potential solutions have been explored, including companion robots.
We have already seen some pretty impressive examples come out, particularly over the course of the past couple of years. In general, we’ve seen some great examples of technology and elder care. Assisted walkers, hybrid assistive limbs, and even robotic nurses are now being tested and utilized in situations. As companion robots become smarter and smarter, and the costs involved with owning and caring for one becomes even less prohibitive, it stands to reason that these robots will become more prevalent in elder care.
It does raise some interesting questions and possibilities. Japan seems to be leading the planet for developments with companion robots and the elderly. Even so, we can expect to see other countries come up with robots of their own.
Will Companion Robots Change Elder Care Forever?
Robotics are already changing medicine in extraordinary ways. Consider the examples mentioned above. Robotics are allowing us to fill in the gaps that continue to exist, owing to certain limitations. With robotics and elder care, the idea of companion robots certainly makes sense. The eventual dream is to create a robot that will not only assist with a wide variety of elder care functions, but can also serve as a provider of essential companionship.
Obviously, one of the challenges comes down to getting the elderly to accept these companions. Older generations adopting new technologies continues to be challenging. For many individuals over a certain age, it simply comes down to a fear of the unknown. Although popular media has spent the past few decades preparing us for the concept of companion robots, this is something else entirely from actually having these robots in our lives.
However, this may not prove to be a serious problem. We are rapidly getting to the point in which we will be able to create robots that will be capable of providing individuals of all ages and backgrounds with a profound, humanistic connection. This thought can certainly be extended to the notion of elder care.
In other words, we can have these robots and at the same time we can also serve to maintain our essential humanity in the bargain.
Here is a video showing how robots would be helpful for everyone: