Goodbye to domestic workers and carers, robots are comingby Annalisa Lista - 2013.05.21
In parallel with the ageing of the global population, support technologies are becoming increasingly refined and widely used. One of the most recent and high profile cases is HERB, a robot-factotum, developed at Carnegie Mellon University, which helps elderly people to take care of themselves. How? By cleaning, washing dishes or moving objects on command, for example by fetching a jug of water. It is an automaton not only able to move around the house, moving with the same speed as a human being, but also capable of recognizing and remembering where objects are, differentiating between fixed and mobile objects. Besides HERB, there is another automaton called Cody, which is the result of work at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Cody is a kind of robot-carer, which helps people to wash dependents, with the same delicacy as a real assistant. Hector, on the other hand, is an artificial nurse created by the University of Reading, which reminds the patient when its time to take medication. But some experts are asking, will this technology become a pretext for abdicating responsibility?