The number of people aged 65+ is on the rise, and so is the number of robotics projects that hope to avert the impending care crisis by augmenting or substituting human caregivers with robotic ones. But how much time are we comfortable letting our seniors spend with robots?
Unfortunately, the reality that automated vehicles will eventually kill people has morphed into the illusion that a paramount challenge for or to these vehicles is deciding who precisely to kill in any given crash. Although dilemma situations are relevant to the field, they have been overhyped in comparison to other issues implicated by vehicle automation.
We have a tall order when it comes to dreaming up a trustworthy care robot: a robot could clean the house, find and fetch objects, and even keep seniors company. But if robots take on so many daily care tasks for the elderly, is it possible that seniors will have to interact with them too much? Is there such a thing as a socially acceptable amount of interaction with a care robot? Let us know what you think as we continue our reader polls about care robots.
When thinking about robots that can be used to care for the elderly, most people imagine humanoid robots that are meant to help with cooking, cleaning and socializing. But what if robots could be used to keep elderly people from needing help in the first place? Walking assistive devices could be just the tool.
Alex Leveringhaus, author of a recent Oxford Martin School policy paper titled Robo-Wars: The Regulation of Robotic Weapons discusses the ethics of autonomous weapons, urges governments to recognise the increasing prominence of these weapons in contemporary and future forms of warfare, and proposes steps towards suitable regulation.
Robots that interact with everyday users may need a combination of speech, gaze, and gesture behaviors to convey their message effectively. This is similar to human-human interactions except that every behavior the robot displays must be designed and programmed ahead of time. In other words, designers of robot applications must understand how each of these behaviors contributes to the robot’s effectiveness so that they can determine which behaviors must be included in the application’s design.
Our newest video interview features PhD student Joydeep Biswas, who works with Dr. Manuela Veloso’s CORAL research group, and scientist Brian Coltin, who is at NASA’s Ames Intelligent Research group since graduating from his PhD at Carnegie Mellon under Dr. Manuela Veloso’s supervision.
One of the driving forces of social, interactive robotics is the issue of impending labour shortage, which is projected to be one of the major and inevitable consequences of the ageing population phenomenon.
A new action/sci-fi thriller by Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium) is due in theatres March 6, 2015. Starring Sharlto Copley, Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel, and Sigourney Weaver, Chappie follows an experimental humanoid as it learns to think and feel for itself, and explores the resulting awe and fear that comes from the humans that encounter it on its path to “the next step in evolution”. Watch the trailer.
What is a social robot supposed to look like? We have asked ourselves this question many times during the last year. HUGE design was fortunate enough to be partnered with the Jibo team and tasked with creating the industrial design/look and feel for Jibo. At first, it seemed that our lack of experience designing anything remotely close to a robot might be a problem. We quickly learned however that this product needed to be unlike any existing robot, and a fresh industrial design was going to be a crucial part in defining this new socially charged experience for users.
As our homes become increasingly automated, will we eventually be living inside what is essentially a robot? Given that smart homes can collect data and learn about your daily habits, and come up with the optimum time to turn on/off different devices in the home, what should this giant robot optimize for?