A few years ago, researchers at the University of British Columbia (AJung Moon, Peter Danielson and Mike Van der Loos) studied the public acceptance of a number of different robots. That included the discussion of a Japanese robot from Sanyo Electric in 2004 dedicated to bathing the elderly. Since then, there have been developments in the topic of robot baths, for example, Cody, a robot from Georgia Tech, has a compliant arm that can be used to wipe people for giving bed baths for patients (see video above).
An interesting theme that came up from our discussions on this topic was that of control. Bathing is typically a private activity, and a robot bath assistant could offer dignity, but when is this trumped by the need to control the robot?
Let us know below: