Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mamoru: A Robot To Assist The Aged

This device is an interesting conceptual robot created by the University of Tokyo, and is designed to assist the elderly in their daily tasks. The Mamoru may not have arms or legs for active assistance, but it does have something that many old people lack: memory.
The eyes of the Mamoru are designed for more than just aesthetics. These are wide angle camera lenses, and Mamoru is designed to scan objects with image recognition software.
How is this helpful? Let’s say that grandma can’t find her remote control, glasses, or slippers. The Mamoru will politely tell her where they are because it is not susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease. It can also be programmed to remind her when to take her medication.
Of course, you have to question the ethics of this. Do you really want to leave the senior citizens that you love in the care of this robot? Sadly, all I can think about is how I want the Mamoru to be able to do more active assistance work.