KEY IDEA: A new Canadian study is seeking to evaluate the usefulness of AI-powered robots in supporting senior citizens.
Original author and publication date: Loukia Papadopoulos – September 23, 2023
Futurizonte Editor’s Note: Will robots care our elders? Will the elders care that they are cared by robots?
From the article:
Dr. Lillian Hung, Canada Research Chair in Senior Care and assistant professor of nursing at the University of British Columbia, is trying out two Japanese robots, called Kiwi and Mango, which may have the ability to provide companionship for senior citizens in Canada, reducing their loneliness.
This is according to a press release by the institution published this week.
So much more than a cute toy
The two social robots may resemble miniature versions of the Teletubbies but they are so much more than a cute toy. They actually possess complex artificial intelligence systems that allow them to adapt to their environment, communicate, recognize faces and voices, and even provide hugs to mimic the warmth of a genuine pet.
“Our research at the Innovation in Dementia & Aging (IDEA) Lab focuses on examining how technology and the environment impact dementia care. In Japan, where isolation and loneliness is a huge problem for older adults, said Hung.
“Lovot robots – as their manufacturer calls them – have gained popularity as companions.”
“I wanted to study how these robots interact with older adults and individuals with cognitive challenges in a Canadian context.”