Whatever Happened to All Those Care Robots?

Article by Stephanie H. Murray: “So far, companion robots haven’t lived up to the hype—and might even exacerbate the problems they’re meant to solve…There are likely many reasons that the long-predicted robot takeover of elder care has yet to take off. Robots are expensive, and cash-strapped care homes don’t have money lying around to purchase a robot, let alone to pay for the training needed to actually use one effectively. And at least so far, social robots just aren’t worth the investment, Wright told me. Pepper can’t do a lot of the things people claimed he could—and he relies heavily on humans to help him do what he can. Despite some research suggesting they can boost well-being among the elderly, robots have shown little evidence that they make life easier for human caregivers. In fact, they require quite a bit of care themselves. Perhaps robots of the future will revolutionize caregiving as hoped. But the care robots we have now don’t even come close, and might even exacerbate the problems they’re meant to solve…(More)”.