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Will you retire with robots?

Medical advances are keep more of us alive and allowing us to live longer. I’ve read that the United Nations estimates the worldwide population of people over 65 years old will increase 181% between 2010 and 2050, while the number of people aged 15 to 65 will only increase 33%. It’s nice to know more people will live longer, but looking at those numbers it is going to be tough if not impossible to find help get a little help around the house as we grow older.

 

Cleaning Robots

iRobot Roomba 880

iRobot Roomba 880


Robotic vacuums and floor cleaners have been on the market and in the news for years now.  There are dozens of models available and most people are comfortable with the idea of a small bot venturing out from its charger every once in a while to pace the  floor, collecting dirt, dust, and hair.

What do you think about letting robots maintain your outside world too? Robotic lawnmowers and snow blowers are available, but they don’t seem quite as harmless as something that mops or sucks up dirt.

Robotic Pets

Paro, the robotic seal

Paro, the robotic seal

How about something furry friend that doesn’t shed or need to be fed? Meet Paro the robotic seal. This big eyed buddy is being used as a companion for lonely residents in some nursing homes in the U.S., Europe, and Japan.

It is not an inanimate stuffed doll. I cries when ignored or dropped and rewards yo with purring and cooing sounds if you pet it.

Telepresense Robots

If you’ve ever used Skype of FaceTime to video chat with someone, they you have experienced telepresense .  Telepresense robots are simply designed an built to be mobile and can be remotely controlled. They can be used to allow medical professionals or family stay in touch with elderly people who are still on their own

 

Medical Assistance Robots

Telepresense robots are commonly used by medical professionals, but there other types of robots that doctors and nurses are using now as well. Some are as mundane as a smart delivery carts, navigating the hallways of hospitals to deliver samples or linens where they are needed.

Toyota is working on something  a little more exciting. They are working on creating robots to help paralyzed people walk or balance themselves. They have several models include a two wheeled version that is like a Segue with a harness. They also have one called The Walk Training Assist robot. It is attached to a person’s leg and uses sensors to detect hip movement. The robot can help people walk by helping bend the knee and swinging the leg forward.

Is it me? Or does this guy look like he's related to a Dalek?

Is it me? Or does this guy look like he’s related to a Dalek?

Security Robots

Security guards are being replaced or assisted by robots now. In November 2014, Microsoft’s Silicon Valley Campus started being patrolled by a handful of Knightscope K5 robots. The Autonomous Data Machine, as they refer to it, is primarily used for surveillance. Knightscope is trying to provide help in reducing the estimated $1 trillion (yes, with a ‘T’) in losses to the U.S. economy each year that is attributed to crime.

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Please answer the poll above or enter comments below and let me know what you think the future holds.

Mark Crosby

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