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Robotics

Mobiserv Robot Designed To Keep Tabs On Seniors 40

Posted by Soulskill
from the good-pairing-for-an-old-thief-named-frank dept.
Zothecula writes "Of the various potential uses for robots, there's one that many people often forget about – in-home helpers for the elderly. A number of such robots are currently in the works, including the Twendy-One and GiraffPlus. Now, a consortium of European research institutes and companies has created another such electronic assistant, as one component of the larger Mobiserv Project."
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Mobiserv Robot Designed To Keep Tabs On Seniors

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  • by ls671 (1122017) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @02:25AM (#44627725) Homepage

    "often forget about – in-home helpers for the elderly"

    Not me. With people living longer and longer and less and less young people to take care of them, the elderly will be a big market for robots for years to come yet. I had a discussion with a friend of mine about that the other day.

  • I think they are targeting the wrong audience here. We are already surrounded by robots including the washing machine, the Thermomix and many others. Last generation vacuum cleaners can do the whole job for you and the company making the original one is called iRobot. However, I think that there is correlation between anyone choosing to use whatever robot and his / her age when it first comes out. Microwave ovens for example are generally used by people below 70, because people above that never bothered t
    • by Immerman (2627577)

      I think you're not fully considering the target audience's situation

      Mom-in-Law is reaching the point that she can't live on her own any more. The choices are:
      Send her to a retirement home
      Let her move in with you
      Hire a caretaker
      Purchase a robot caretaker

      Take a moment to think about the costs of each of those options, financial and otherwise. Suddenly the robot starts looking a lot more attractive.

      • I suspect that things work differently here in Spain than they do where you are from, or at least in the house where I was raised. You see, my mum has given me an enormous amount of unconditional love over decades. She used to have a job (despite my dad having one too), do most of the cleaning and cooking, rise 3 children and continue her studies, all at the same time. Despite all this, for years she found time to help me with my homework EVERY DAY. If my other half loves her mum say half so much as I love
        • by Immerman (2627577)

          Yes, the Hispanic cultures do tend to be much more family oriented than most, in fact if your story is typical it sounds like Spain may actually be one of the less dramatic examples. In the Americas (less so in the US) it's not all that uncommon for 3-4 generations to live under the same roof. In fact in many places it's the grandparents that are expected to handle the bulk of child-rearing duties. Which probably has some real benefits if you think about it - they've had a lot more time to develop good p

  • by Dogtanian (588974) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @04:44AM (#44628309) Homepage
    Robots to look after old people? Are they mad?! Everyone knows they steal old people's medicine to keep themselves going, and then there's the problem of them attacking them with their metal claws.

    Someone needs to offer seniors insurance against that sort of thing.
    • by operagost (62405)
      The robots are there to protect the seniors from the other robots... duh. For example, if Pusher robots are a problem in your area, Old Glory insurance will offer you a discount if you purchase a Shover robot to protect you from the terrible secret of space. You might also want to move to a home without stairs.
  • Id have more time to spend with the elderly, as would most other adults, if we focused this technology on deprecating the more grueling parts of the service sector like fast food and walmart so i didnt have to work two jobs to pay rent.
    • by Immerman (2627577)

      Don't think they're not doing so. I just read about some fast-food chain experimenting with robotic burger-making and delivery. Production times can be lowered dramatically, consistency increases, and the robot never ever (well, hardly ever) spits in your burger.

      But think this through - once they automate the bulk of the service industry what will they need you for? You'll be out of two jobs, and still need to eat and pay rent. The problem is not a technological one, it's a social one. In a world where

      • by kermidge (2221646)

        We had an "easy" introduction to automation with the auto industry in, what, the '70s and '80s on, with hundreds of thousands of workers displaced. Some found other work. A significant number became chronically unemployed and unemployable.

        Varies by whose estimates you go by, but gentlest case I've seen is 1/3 of working population in U.S. jobless by mid-century. As in no work to be had at all.

        See http://marshallbrain.com/manna1.htm [marshallbrain.com] for a version.

        • by Immerman (2627577)

          It's an easy enough problem to fix, it just requires a cultural shift. One possible route would be to simply make the full time work week shorter: Make it 30 hours instead of 40 and you immediately need 1/3 more workers to cover the same shifts. More vacation time would help too. Companies not cooperating? Raise the mandatory minimum overtime rate to 2x, or 3x, or whatever it takes to motivate them to find a way to spread the work around.

          • by kermidge (2221646)

            Amen. Getting that cultural shift is a, if not the, main sticking point in all this. There are a slew of commonly accepted "wisdoms" that, to put it politely, are incongruent with the real world. Adjusting the work week is easy, simple, direct, and at the least effective for near-term. Add proviso that half what is saved from OT goes to benefits. Happy workers makes for good work makes for profit. Now try convince them. Hello, brick wall.

            Cheap, abundant electricity is key, later on, but that's anothe

  • I want to volunteer for the elderly, now. I just can't stand Fox News. Is there a match.com for elderly volunteers yet? The only thing worse than dying alone is having a robot reminder that you are alone. I'd visit my mom if I didn't think my ex-brother would show up. :-(
  • by psychonaut (65759) <psychonaut@nothingisreal.com> on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @06:58AM (#44628923) Homepage
    Unfortunately the article doesn't indicate whether these robots can help elderly jewel thieves carry out big heists [wikipedia.org]. Inquiring minds want to know!
  • Which isn't to say that I misparsed it syntactically, or even misread any of the words - I just thought from the title that it would be about a robot designed to keep tabs on *high school* seniors, like following them around to make sure they weren't drinking or smoking outside of school. Which would be crazy creepy.

  • http://www.hulu.com/watch/2340 [hulu.com]

    Now I finally understand the purpose of Old Glory insurance. ;)

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