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Difference Engine: The caring robot | The Economist


curated by | May 14, 2013

Japan_Care_robotWith many of his friends and family getting on in years, Babbage has had perforce the chance to compare how the elderly are cared for professionally in America, Britain and Japan. In all three, the private facilities he has visited have been broadly similar and their costs much the same. But one thing stands out about the places the old and infirm are cared for in Japan. Whether they be nursing homes, geriatric hospitals or hospices, all seem to suffer a dire shortage of nursing staff. As the Japanese see it, the answer is not cheap foreign workers, but lots of cheap Japanese robots. This comes as no surprise. There is a profound belief in Japan that the application of ingenious hardware can be relied upon to solve most problems.

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