Saturday, April 28, 2012

Robots for the Elderly

Here are a couple of items touching on an important application of robots, care of elderly folks...
1) Robot tested in Australian senior citizen homes

AND... 2)  From AARP's magazine, the article: "Independent Living for the Aging Is Possible With New Technology:

"Americans love their homes, and given a choice, they'd like to stay in them as they get older. According to a 2011 AARP report, 90 percent of people age 65 and over want to age where they are, though less than 10 percent are using the personal and safety technology that is already available to help them do just that..."

"Meanwhile, researchers, scientists and designers are working to create new technology to help Americans live independently throughout their lives. But how can they tell if their products will actually help or if people will even use them?
Honing such inventions through user feedback to make them more effective and appealing, even to monitor cognitive decline as it's happening is the concept behind "living labs." In this research method, medical and academic institutions test their ideas for days, weeks, even years in the homes of older adults. It's not just science that researchers must perfect; the technology must also fit into everyday lives..."
"The Oregon Center for Aging and Technology (ORCATECH), part of Portland's Oregon Health & Science University, is testing technology in more than 150 houses, apartments and retirement communities in the metro area, as well as 200 other homes nationwide.
They asked: Do changes in mobility and walking speed predict cognitive decline? If so, doctors might be able to step in and mitigate the problem before there's a dramatic change. To find out, motion sensors are installed on participants' ceilings or appliances. Information on the speed and frequency of round-the-clock activity feeds into a computer in the home and then transmits to researchers. Retired radiologist Lucien Burke, 71, says he has 20 motion sensors scattered throughout the rooms in his house..."

Read the full article at its source:

Finally, 3) Our friend Bill Gates weighs in with his 2 trillion Cents on the matter:

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