Monday, August 13, 2012
Service Robots: Long-Term Care Technology Helps Staff and Residents (Nursing Home Video 4:22)
Meet Care-O-Bot and CASERO, two German robot brothers that can provide needed services in long-term care facilities. Care-O-Bot is a robot assistant, while CASERO is an automated guided vehicle system. Previously, I shared information with you about Nursebot Pearl, a robot that services patients in private homes. She has a caregiving voice and an emotional face with interchangeable parts.
Through robots, technology strives to meet the needs of our growing population of older adults who are living longer with healthcare concerns. Of course, expensive robots will never replace compassionate and efficient healthcare workers. But they can provide services that allow healthcare workers to have more time with residents and enhance quality of their lives. Depending on the degree of dementia, robot trials indicate that people with dementia can accept robots and be amused by them.
What about our two robot brothers and some of the services they perform? Care-O-Bot, the younger of the two, can enter a room, introduce himself, pass out drinks, and even keep track of who drank and how much. With colored cameras used like eyes, this robot can recognize and respond to individual faces, play games, and lead residents in singing. CASERO, a more developed robot, uses its multiple cameras to monitor hallways and transports objects by guiding itself, sending for an elevator, and riding it to another floor. Change is slow, and, while everybody may not love service robots, many people do. You can read more about both robots in this article about service robots.
This video titled Service Robots in Nursing Homes: Care-O-Bot 3 and CASERO shows the robots in operation at Parkheim Berg, a nursing home in Germany:
Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback at many booksellers and in e-book form at Amazon and Barnes and Noble booksellers.