Showing posts with label Hiroshi Ishiguro. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hiroshi Ishiguro. Show all posts

Artificial Intelligence - What Is RoboThespian?


RoboThespian is an interactive robot created by Engineered Arts in England.

It is described as a humanoid, which means it was meant to look like a person.

The initial version of the robot was released in 2005, with improvements following in 2007, 2010, and 2014.

The robot is human-sized, with a plastic face, metal arms, and legs that can move in a variety of directions.

With its digital voice, the robot's video camera eyes can track a person's movements and infer his or her age and mood.

All RoboThespians, according to Engineered Arts' website, come with a touchscreen that enables users to personalize and manage their experience with the robot, including the ability to animate it and modify its language.

Users may also operate it remotely via a tablet, however since the robot can be preprogrammed, no live operator is necessary.

RoboThespian was created to engage with people in public places including colleges, museums, hotels, trade events, and exhibits.

The robot is utilized as a tour guide in venues like science museums.

It can scan QR codes, identify facial expressions, react to gestures, and communicate with people through a touchscreen kiosk.

RoboThespian may also amuse in addition to these practical uses.

It's jam-packed with songs, gestures, welcomes, and first impressions.

RoboThespian has also performed in front of an audience.

It has the ability to sing, dance, perform, read from a script, and communicate with emotion.

It can respond to audiences and forecast their emotions since it is equipped with cameras and face recognition.

According to Engineered Arts, it may have a "vast variety of facial expression" as an actor and "can be precisely displayed with the delicate subtlety, generally only achieved by human performers" (Engineered Arts 2017).

During the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2015, the drama Spillikin had its world debut at the Pleasance Theatre.

In a love tale about a husband who constructs a robot for his wife to keep her company after he dies, RoboThespian appeared with four human performers.

The play toured the United Kingdom from 2016 to 2017, receiving critical praise.

Companies who purchase a RoboThespian may tailor the robot's content to meet their specific requirements.

The appearance of the robot's face and other design elements may be changed.

It can feature a projected face, grippable hands, and moveable legs.

RoboThespians are now placed at NASA Kennedy Center in the United States, the National Science and Technology Museum in Spain, and the Copernicus Science Centre in Poland, among others.

University of Central Florida, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University College London, and University of Barcelona are among the academic institutions where the robot may be found.

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan

Find Jai on Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram

You may also want to read more about Artificial Intelligence here.

See also: 

Autonomous and Semiautonomous Systems; Ishiguro, Hiroshi.

References & Further Reading:

Engineered Arts. 2017. “RoboThespian.” Engineered Arts Limited.

Hickey, Shane. 2014. “RoboThespian: The First Commercial Robot That Behaves Like a Person.” The Guardian, August 17, 2014.

Artificial Intelligence - Who Is Hiroshi Ishiguro (1963–)?


Hiroshi Ishiguro is a well-known engineer who is most known for his life-like humanoid robots.

He thinks that the present information culture will eventually develop into a world populated by robot caregivers or helpmates.

Ishiguro also expects that studying artificial people would help us better understand how humans are conditioned to read and comprehend the actions and expressions of their own species.

Ishiguro seeks to explain concepts like relationship authenticity, autonomy, creativity, imitation, reciprocity, and robot ethics in terms of cognitive science.

Ishiguro's study aims to produce robots that are uncannily identical to humans in look and behavior.

He thinks that his robots will assist us in comprehending what it is to be human.

Sonzaikan is the Japanese name for this sense of a human's substantial presence, or spirit.

Success, according to Ishiguro, may be measured and evaluated in two ways.

The first is what he refers to as the complete Turing Test, in which an android passes if 70% of human spectators are unaware that they are seeing a robot until at least two seconds have passed.

The second metric for success, he claims, is the length of time a human stays actively engaged with a robot before discovering that the robot's cooperative eye tracking does not reflect true thinking.

Robovie was one of Ishiguro's earliest robots, launched in 2000.

Ishiguro intended to make a robot that didn't appear like a machine or a pet, but might be mistaken for a friend in everyday life.

Robovie may not seem to be human, but it can perform a variety of innovative human-like motions and interactive activities.

Eye contact, staring at items, pointing at things, nodding, swinging and folding arms, shaking hands, and saying hello and goodbye are all possible with Robovie.

Robo Doll was extensively featured in Japanese media, and Ishiguro was persuaded that the robot's look, engagement, and conversation were vital to deeper, more nuanced connections between robots and humans.

In 2003, Ishiguro debuted Actroid to the general public for the first time.

Sanrio's Kokoro animatronics division has begun manufacturing Actroid, an autonomous robot controlled by AI software developed at Osaka University's Intelligent Robotics Laboratory.

Actroid has a feminine look (in science fiction terms, a "gynoid") with skin constructed of incredibly realistic silicone.

Internal sensors and quiet air actuators at 47 points of physical articulation allow the robot to replicate human movement, breathing, and blinking, and it can even speak.

Movement is done by sensor processing, data files carrying key val ues for degrees of freedom in movement of limbs and joints.

Five to seven degrees of freedom are typical for robot arms.

Arms, legs, torso, and neck of humanoid robots may have thirty or more degrees of freedom.

Programmers create Actroid scenarios in four steps: (1) collect recognition data from sensors activated by contact, (2) choose a motion module, (3) execute a specified series of movements and play an audio file, and (4) return to step 1.

Experiments utilizing irregular random or contingent reactions to human context hints have been shown to be helpful in holding the human subject's attention, but they are made much more effective when planned scenarios are included.

Motion modules are written in XML, a text-based markup language that is simple enough for even inexperienced programmers to understand.

Ishiguro debuted Repliee variants of the Actroid in 2005, which were supposed to be indistinguishable from a human female on first glance.

Repliee Q1Expo is an android replica of Ayako Fujii, a genuine Japanese newscaster.

Repliee androids are interactive; they can use voice recognition software to comprehend human conversations, answer verbally, maintain eye contact, and react quickly to human touch.

This is made possible by a sensor network made up of infrared motion detectors, cameras, microphones, identification tag readers, and floor sensors that is distributed and ubiquitous.

Artificial intelligence is used by the robot to assess whether the human is contacting the robot gently or aggressively.

Ishiguro also debuted Repliee R1, a kid version of the robot that looks identical to his then four-year-old daughter.

Actroids have recently been proven to be capable of imitating human limb and joint movement by observing and duplicating the movements.

Because much of the computer gear that runs the artificial intelligence program is external to the robot, it is not capable of actual movement.

Self-reports of human volunteers' sentiments and moods are captured when robots perform activities in research done at Ishiguro's lab.

The Actroid elicits a wide spectrum of emotions, from curiosity to disgust, acceptance to terror.

Ishiguro's research colleagues have also benefited from real-time neuroimaging of human volunteers in order to better understand how human brains are stimulated in human-android interactions.

As a result, Actroid serves as a testbed for determining why particular nonhuman agent acts fail to elicit the required cognitive reactions in humans.

The Geminoid robots were created in response to the fact that artificial intelligence lags far behind robotics when it comes to developing realistic interactions between humans and androids.

Ishiguro, in particular, admitted that it would be several years before a computer could have a lengthy, intensive spoken discussion with a person.

The Geminoid HI-1, which debuted in 2006, is a teleoperated (rather than totally autonomous) robot that looks similar to Ishiguro.

The name "gemininoid" is derived from the Latin word "twin." Hand fidgeting, blinking, and motions similar with human respiration are all possible for Geminoid.

Motion-capture technology is used to operate the android, which mimics Ishiguro's face and body motions.

The robot can imitate its creator's voice and communicate in a human-like manner.

Ishiguro plans to utilize the robot to teach students through remote telepresence one day.

When he is teleoperating the robot, he has observed that the sensation of immersion is so strong that his brain is fooled into producing phantom perceptions of actual contact when the android is poked.

The Geminoid-DK is a mechanical doppelgänger of Danish psychology professor Henrik Schärfe, launched in 2011.

While some viewers find the Geminoid's look unsettling, many others do not and simply communicate with the robot in a normal way.

In 2010, the Telenoid R1 was introduced as a teleoperated android robot.

Telenoid is 30 inches tall and amorphous, with just a passing resemblance to a human form.

The robot's objective is to transmit a human voice and gestures to a spectator who may use it as a communication or videoconferencing tool.

The Telenoid, like the other robots in Ishiguro's lab, looks to be alive: it simulates breathing and speech gestures and blinks.

However, in order to stimulate creativity, the design limits the amount of features.

In this manner, the Telenoid is analogous to a tangible, real-world avatar.

Its goal is to make more intimate, human-like interactions possible using telecommunications technology.

Ishiguro suggests that the robot might one day serve as a suitable stand-in for a teacher or partner who is otherwise only accessible from afar.

The Elfoid, a tiny version of the robot, can be grasped with one hand and carried in a pocket.

The autonomous persocom dolls that replace smart phones and other electronics in the immensely famous manga series Chobits foreshadowed the Actroid and Telenoid.

Ishiguro is a professor of systems innovation and the director of Osaka University's Intelligent Robotics Laboratory.

He's also a group leader at Kansai Science City's Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute (ATR) and a cofounder of the tech-transfer startup Vstone Ltd.

He thinks that future commercial enterprises will profit from the success of teleoperated robots in order to fund the continued development of his autonomous robots.

Erica, a humanoid robot that became a Japanese television news presenter in 2018, is his most recent creation.

Ishiguro studied oil painting extensively as a young man, pondering how to depict human resemblance on canvas while he worked.

In Hanao Mori's computer science lab at Yamanashi University, he got enthralled with robots.

At Osaka University, Ishiguro pursued his PhD in engineering under computer vision and image recognition pioneer Saburo Tsuji.

At studies done in Tsuji’s lab, he worked on mobile robots capable of SLAM— simultaneous mapping and navigation using panoramic and omni-directional video cameras.

This work led to his doctoral dissertation, which focused on tracking a human subject using active camera control and panning to acquire complete 360-degree views of the surroundings.

Ishiguro believed that his technology and applications may be utilized to provide a meaningful internal map of an interacting robot's surroundings.

His dissertation was rejected by the first reviewer of an article based on it.

Fine arts and technology, according to Ishiguro, are inexorably linked; art inspires new technologies, while technology enables for the creation and duplication of art.

Ishiguro has recently brought his robots to Seinendan, a theatre company founded by Oriza Hirata, in order to put what he's learned about human-robot communication into practice.

Ishiguro's field of cognitive science and AI, which he calls android science, has precedents in Disneyland's "Great Moments with Mr.

Lincoln" robotics animation show and the fictitious robot replacements described in the Bruce Willis film Surrogates (2009).

In the Willis film, Ishiguro has a cameo appearance.

Jai Krishna Ponnappan

You may also want to read more about Artificial Intelligence here.

See also: 

Caregiver Robots; Nonhuman Rights and Personhood.

Further Reading:

Guizzo, Erico. 2010. “The Man Who Made a Copy of Himself.” IEEE Spectrum 47, no. 4 (April): 44–56.

Ishiguro, Hiroshi, and Fabio Dalla Libera, eds. 2018. Geminoid Studies: Science and Technologies for Humanlike Teleoperated Androids. New York: Springer.

Ishiguro, Hiroshi, and Shuichi Nishio. 2007. “Building Artificial Humans to Understand Humans.” Journal of Artificial Organs 10, no. 3: 133–42.

Ishiguro, Hiroshi, Tetsuo Ono, Michita Imai, Takeshi Maeda, Takayuki Kanda, and Ryohei Nakatsu. 2001. “Robovie: An Interactive Humanoid Robot.” International Journal of Industrial Robotics 28, no. 6: 498–503.

Kahn, Peter H., Jr., Hiroshi Ishiguro, Batya Friedman, Takayuki Kanda, Nathan G. Freier, Rachel L. Severson, and Jessica Miller. 2007. “What Is a Human? Toward Psychological Benchmarks in the Field of Human–Robot Interaction.” Interaction Studies 8, no. 3: 363–90.

MacDorman, Karl F., and Hiroshi Ishiguro. 2006. “The Uncanny Advantage of Using Androids in Cognitive and Social Science Research.” Interaction Studies 7, no. 3: 297–337.

Nishio, Shuichi, Hiroshi Ishiguro, and Norihiro Hagita. 2007a. “Can a Teleoperated Android Represent Personal Presence? A Case Study with Children.” Psychologia 50: 330–42.

Nishio, Shuichi, Hiroshi Ishiguro, and Norihiro Hagita. 2007b. “Geminoid: Teleoperated Android of an Existing Person.” In Humanoid Robots: New Developments, edited by Armando Carlos de Pina Filho, 343–52. Vienna, Austria: I-Tech.

Artificial Intelligence - What Are Robot Caregivers?


Personal support robots, or caregiver robots, are meant to help individuals who, for a number of reasons, need assistive technology for long-term care, disability, or monitoring.

Although not widely used, caregiver robots are seen as useful in countries with rapidly rising older populations or in situations when a significant number of individuals are afflicted at the same time with a severe sickness.

Caregiver robots have elicited a wide variety of reactions, from terror to comfort.

As they attempt to eliminate the toil from caring rituals, some ethicists have claimed that robotics researchers misunderstand or underappreciate the role of compassionate caretakers.

The majority of caregiver robots are personal robots for use at home, however some are used in institutions including hospitals, nursing homes, and schools.

Some of them are geriatric care robots.

Others, dubbed "robot nannies," are meant to do childcare tasks.

Many have been dubbed "social robots." Interest in caregiving robots has risen in tandem with the world's aging population.

Japan has one of the largest percentage of old people in the world and is a pioneer in the creation of caregiver robots.

According to the United Nations, by 2050, one-third of the island nation's population would be 65 or older, much outnumbering the natural supply of nursing care employees.

The Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare of the nation initiated a pilot demonstration project in 2013 to bring bionic nursing robots into eldercare facilities.

By 2050, the number of eligible retirees in the United States will have doubled, and those beyond the age of 85 will have tripled.

In the same year, there will be 1.5 billion persons over the age of 65 all throughout the globe (United Nations 2019).

For a number of reasons, people are becoming more interested in caregiver robot technology.

The physical difficulties of caring for the elderly, infirm, and children are often mentioned as a driving force for the creation of assistive robots.

The caregiver position may be challenging, especially when the client has a severe or long-term illness such as Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or schizoid disorder.

A partial answer to family economic misery has also been proposed: caregiver robots.

Robots may one day be able to take the place of human relatives who must work.

They've also been suggested as a possible solution to nursing home and other care facility staffing shortages.

In addition to technological advancements, societal and cultural factors are driving the creation of caregiver robots.

Because of unfavorable attitudes of outsiders, robot caregivers are favored in Japan than overseas health-care employees.

The demand for independence and the dread of losing behavioral, emotional, and cognitive autonomy are often acknowledged by the elderly themselves.

In the literature, several robot caregiver functions have been recognized.

Some robots are thought to be capable of minimizing human carers' mundane work.

Others are better at more difficult jobs.

Intelligent service robots have been designed to help with feeding, cleaning of houses and bodies, and mobility support, all of which save time and effort (including lifting and turning).

Safety monitoring, data collecting, and surveillance are some of the other functions of these assistive technologies.

Clients with severe to profound impairments may benefit from robot carers for coaching and stimulation.

For patients who require frequent reminders to accomplish chores or take medication, these robots might be used as cognitive prosthesis or mobile memory aides.

These caregiver robots may also include telemedicine capabilities, allowing them to call doctors or nurses for routine or emergency consultations.

Robot caretakers have been offered as a source of social connection and companionship, which has sparked debate.

Although social robots have a human-like appearance, they are often interactive smart toys or artificial pets.

In Japan, robots are referred to as iyashi, a term that also refers to a style of anime and manga that focuses on emotional rehabilitation.

As huggable friends, Japanese children and adults may choose from a broad range of soft-tronic robots.

Matsushita Electric Industrial (MEI) created Wandakun, a fluffy koala bear-like robot, in the 1990s.

When petted, the bear wiggled, sang, and responded to touch with a few Japanese sentences.

Babyloid is a plush mechanical baby beluga whale created by Masayoshi Kano at Chukyo University to help elderly patients with despair.

Babyloid is only seventeen inches long, yet his eyes flicker and he "naps" when rocked.

When it is "glad," LED lights imbedded in its cheeks shine.

When the robot is in a bad mood, it may also drop blue LED tears.

Babyloid can produce almost a hundred distinct noises.

It is hardly a toy, since each one costs more than $1,000.

The infant harp seal is a replica.

The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan invented Paro to provide consolation to individuals suffering from dementia, anxiety, or sadness.

Thirteen surface and whisker sensors, three microphones, two vision sensors, and seven actuators for the neck, fins, and eyelids are all included in the eighth-generation Paro.

When patients with dementia use Paro, the robot's developer, Taka nori Shibata of AIST's Intelligent System Research Institute, reports that they experience less hostility and roaming, as well as increased social interaction.

In the United States, Paro is classified as a Class II medical equipment, which puts it in the same danger category as electric wheelchairs and X-ray machines.

Taizou, a twenty-eight-inch robot that can duplicate the motions of thirty various workouts, was developed by AIST.

In Japan, Taizou is utilized to encourage older adults to exercise and keep in shape.

Sony Corporation's well-known AIBO is a robotic therapy dog as well as a very expensive toy.

In 2018, Sony's Life Care Design division started introducing a new generation of dog robots into the company's retirement homes.

The humanoid QRIO robot, AIBO's successor, has been suggested as a platform for basic childcare activities including interactive games and sing-alongs.

Palro, another Fujisoft robot for eldercare treatment, is already in use in over 1,000 senior citizen institutions.

Since its original release in 2010, its artificial intelligence software has been modified multiple times.

Both are used to alleviate dementia symptoms and provide enjoyment.

A bigger section of users of so-called partner-type personal robots has also been promoted by Japanese firms.

These robots are designed to encourage human-machine connection and to alleviate feelings of loneliness and mild melancholy.

In the late 1990s, NEC Corporation started developing the adorable PaPeRo (Partner-Type Personal Robot).

PaPeRo communications robots have the ability to look, listen, communicate, and move in a variety of ways.

Current versions include twin camera eyes that can recognize faces and are intended to allow family members who live in different houses keep an eye on one other.

PaPeRo's Childcare Version interacts with youngsters and serves as a temporary babysitter.

In 2005, Toyota debuted its humanoid Partner Robots family.

The company's robots are intended for a broad range of applications, including human assistance and rehabilitation, as well as socializing and innovation.

In 2012, Toyota launched the Partner Robots line with a customized Human Support Robot (HSR).

HSR robots are designed to help older adults maintain their independence.

In Japan, prototypes are currently being used in eldercare facilities and handicapped people's homes.

HSR robots are capable of picking up and retrieving things as well as avoiding obstacles.

They may also be controlled remotely by a human caregiver and offer internet access and communication.

Japanese roboticists are likewise taking a more focused approach to automated caring.

The RI-MAN robot, developed by the RIKEN Collaboration Center for Human-Interactive Robot Research, is an autonomous humanoid patient-lifting robot.

The forearms, upper arms, and torso of the robot are made of a soft sili cone skin layer and are equipped with touch sensors for safe lifting.

RI-MAN has odor detectors and can follow human faces.

RIBA (Robot for Interactive Body Assistance) is a second-generation RIKEN lifting robot that securely moves patients from bed to wheelchair while responding to simple voice instructions.

Capacitance-type tactile sensors made completely of rubber monitor patient weight in the RIBA-II.

RIKEN's current-generation hydraulic patient life-and-transfer equipment is called Robear.

The robot, which has the look of an anthropomorphic robotic bear, is lighter than its predecessors.

Toshiharu Mukai, RIKEN's inventor and lab leader, invented the lifting robots.

SECOM's MySpoon, Cyberdine's Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL), and Panasonic's Resyone robotic care bed are examples of narrower approaches to caregiver robots in Japan.

MySpoon is a meal-assistance robot that allows customers to feed themselves using a joystick as a replacement for a human arm and eating utensil.

People with physical limitations may employ the Cyberdine Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL), a powered robotic exoskeleton outfit.

For patients who would ordinarily need daily lift help, the Panasonic Resyone robotic care bed merges bed and wheelchair.

Projects to develop caregiver robots are also ongoing in Australia and New Zealand.

The Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems (CAS) was established in the early 2000s as a collaboration between the University of Technology Sydney, the University of Sydney, and the University of New South Wales.

The center's mission was to better understand and develop robotics in order to promote the widespread and ubiquitous use of autonomous systems in society.

The work of CAS has now been separated and placed on an independent footing at the University of Technology Sydney's Centre for Autonomous Systems and the University of Sydney's Australian Centre for Field Robotics.

Bruce Mac Donald of the University of Auckland is leading the creation of Healthbot, a socially assistive robot.

Healthbot is a mobile health robot that reminds seniors to take their meds, check vitals and monitor their physical condition, and call for aid in an emergency.

In the European Union, a number of caregiver robots are being developed.

The GiraffPlus (Giraff+) project, which was just finished at rebro University in Sweden, intends to develop an intelligent system for monitoring the blood pressure, temperature, and movements of elderly individuals at home (to detect falls and other health emergencies).

Giraff may also be utilized as a telepresence robot for virtual visits with family members and health care providers.

The robot is roughly five and a half feet tall and has basic controls as well as a night-vision camera.

The European Mobiserv project's interdisciplinary, collaborative goal is to develop a robot that reminds elderly customers to take their prescriptions, consume meals, and keep active.

Mobiserv is part of a smart home ecosystem that includes sensors, optical sensors, and other automated devices.

Mobiserv is a mobile application that works with smart clothing that collects health-related data.

Mobiserv is a collaboration between Systema Technologies and nine European partners that represent seven different nations.

The EU CompanionAble Project, which involves fifteen institutions and is led by the University of Reading, aims to develop a transportable robotic companion to illustrate the benefits of information and communication technology in aged care.

In the early stages of dementia, the CompanionAble robot tries to solve emergency and security issues, offer cognitive stimulation and reminders, and call human caregiver support.

In a smart home scenario, CompanionAble also interacts with a range of sensors and devices.

The QuoVADis Project at Brova Hospital Paris, a public university hospital specializing in geriatrics, has a similar goal: to develop a robot for at-home care of cognitively challenged old persons.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation is still designing and manufacturing Care-O-Bots, which are modular robots.

It's designed for hospitals, hotels, and nursing homes.

With its long arms and rotating, bending hip joint, the Care-O-Bot 4 service robot can reach from the floor to a shelf.

The robot is intended to be regarded as friendly, helpful, courteous, and intelligent.

ROBOSWARM and IWARD, intelligent and programmable hospital robot swarms developed by the European Union, provide a fresh approach.

ROBOSWARM is a distributed agent cleaning system for hospitals.

Cleaning, patient monitoring and guiding, environmental monitoring, medicine distribution, and patient surveillance are all covered by the more flexible IWARD.

Because the AI systems incorporated in these systems display adaptive and self-organizing characteristics, multi-institutional partners determined that certifying that they would operate adequately under real-world conditions would be challenging.

They also discovered that onlookers sometimes questioned the robots' motions, asking whether they were doing the proper tasks.

The Ludwig humanoid robot, developed at the University of Toronto, is intended to assist caretakers in dealing with aging-related issues in their clients.

The robot converses with elderly people suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

Goldie Nejat, AGE-WELL Investigator and Canada Research Chair in Robots for Society and Director of the University of Toronto's Institute for Robots and Mechatronics, is employing robotics technology to assist individuals by guiding them through ordinary everyday chores.

Brian, the university's robot, is sociable and reacts to emotional human interaction.

HomeLab is creating assistive robots for use in health-care delivery at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (iDAPT), Canada's biggest academic rehabilitation research facility.

Ed the Robot, created by HomeLab, is a low-cost robot built using the iRobot Create toolset.

The robot, like Brian, is designed to remind dementia sufferers of the appropriate steps to take while doing everyday tasks.

In the United States, caregiver robot technology is also on the rise.

The Acrotek Actron MentorBot surveillance and security robot, which was created in the early 2000s, could follow a human client using visual and aural cues, offer food or medicine reminders, inform family members about concerns, and call emergency services.

Bandit is a socially supportive robot created by Maja Matari of the Robotics and Autonomous Systems Center at the University of Southern California.

The robot is employed in therapeutic settings with patients who have had catastrophic injuries or strokes, as well as those who have aging disorders, autism, or who are obese.

Stroke sufferers react swiftly to imitation exercise movements produced by clever robots in rehabilitation sessions, according to the institute.

Robotic-assisted rehabilitative exercises were also effective in prompting and cueing tasks for youngsters with autism spectrum disorders.

Through the business Embodied Inc., Matari is currently attempting to bring cheap social robots to market.

Nursebots Flo and Pearl, assistive robots for the care of the elderly and infirm, were developed in collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Michigan.

The National Science Foundation-funded Nursebot project created a platform for intelligent reminders, telepresence, data gathering and monitoring, mobile manipulation, and social engagement.

Today, Carnegie Mellon is home to the Quality of Life Technology (QoLT) Center, a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center (ERC) whose objective is to use intelligent technologies to promote independence and improve the functional capabilities of the elderly and handicapped.

The transdisciplinary AgeLab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was founded in 1999 to aid in the development of marketable ideas and assistive technology for the aged.

Joe Coughlin, the creator and director of AgeLab, has concentrated on developing the technological requirements for conversational robots for senior care that have the difficult-to-define attribute of likeability.

Walter Dan Stiehl and associates in the Media Lab created The HuggableTM teddy bear robotic companion at MIT.

A video camera eye, 1,500 sensors, silent actuators, an inertial measurement unit, a speaker, and an internal personal computer with wireless networking capabilities are all included in the bear.

Virtual agents are used in other forms of caregiving technology.

Softbots are a term used to describe these agents.

The MIT Media Lab's CASPER affect management agent, created by Jonathan Klein, Youngme Moon, and Rosalind Picard in the early 2000s, is an example of a virtual agent designed to relieve unpleasant emotional states, notably impatience.

To reply to a user who is sharing their ideas and emotions with the computer, the human-computer interaction (HCI) agent employs text-only social-affective feedback mechanisms.

The MIT FITrack exercise advisor agent uses a browser-based client with a relational database and text-to-speech engine on the backend.

The goal of FITrack is to create an interactive simulation of a professional fitness trainer called Laura working with a client.

Amanda Sharkey and Noel Sharkey, computer scientists at the University of Sheffield, are often mentioned in studies on the ethics of caregiver robot technology.

The Shar keys are concerned about robotic carers and the loss of human dignity they may cause.

They claim that such technology has both advantages and disadvantages.

On the one hand, care provider robots have the potential to broaden the variety of options accessible to graying populations, and these features of technology should be promoted.

The technologies, on the other hand, might be used to mislead or deceive society's most vulnerable people, or to further isolate the elderly from frequent companionship and social engagement.

The Sharkeys point out that robotic caretakers may someday outperform humans in certain areas, such as when speed, power, or accuracy are required.

Robots might be trained to avoid or lessen eldercare abuse, impatience, or ineptitude, all of which are typical complaints among the elderly.

Indeed, if societal institutions for caregiver assistance are weak or defective, an ethical obligation to utilize caregiver robots may apply.

Robots, on the other hand, can not comprehend complicated human constructions like loyalty or adapt perfectly to the delicate, tailored demands of specific consumers.

"The old may find themselves in a barren world of machines, a world of automated care: a factory for the aged," the Sharkeys wrote if they don't plan ahead (Sharkey and Sharkey 2012, 282).

In her groundbreaking book Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other (2011), Sherry Turkle includes a chapter to caregiver robots.

She points out that researchers in robotics and artificial intelligence are driven by the need to make the elderly feel desired via their work, assuming that older folks are often lonely or abandoned.

In aging populations, it is true that attention and labor are in short supply.

Robots are used as a kind of entertainment.

They make everyday living and household routines easier and safer.

Turkle admits that robots never get tired and can even function from a neutral stance in customer interactions.

Humans, on the other hand, can have reasons that go against even the most basic or traditional norms of caring.

"One may argue that individuals can act as though they care," Turkle observes.

"A robot is unconcerned. As a result, a robot cannot act since it can only act" (Turkle 2011, 124).

Turkle, on the other hand, is a critical critic of caregiving technology.

Most importantly, caring conduct and caring feelings are often misconstrued.

In her opinion, interactions between people and robots do not constitute true dialogues.

They may even cause consternation among vulnerable and reliant groups.

The risk of privacy invasion from caregiver robot monitoring is significant, and automated help might potentially sabotage human experience and memory development.

The emergence of a generation of older folks and youngsters who prefer machines to intimate human ties poses a significant threat.

On suitable behaviors and manufactured compassion, several philosophers and ethicists have chimed in.

Human touch is very important in healing rituals, according to Sparrow and Sparrow (2006), robots may increase loss of control, and robot caring is false caregiving since robots are incapable of genuine concern.

Borenstein and Pearson (2011) and Van Wynsberghe (2013) believe that caregiver robots infringe on human dignity and senior rights, impeding freedom of choice.

Van Wynsberghe, in particular, advocates for value-sensitive robot designs that align with Joan Tronto's ethic of care, which includes attentiveness, responsibility, competence, and reciprocity, as well as broader concerns for respect, trust, empathy, and compassion, according to University of Minnesota professor Joan Tronto.

Vallor (2011) questioned the underlying assumptions of robot care by questioning the premise that caring for others is only a problem or a burden.

It's possible that excellent care is individualized to the individual, something that personable but mass-produced robots could fail to provide.

Robot caregiving will very certainly be frowned upon by many faiths and cultures.

By providing incorrect and unsuitable social connections, caregiver robots may potentially cause reactive attachment disorder in children.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has defined rules for the creation of personal robots, but who is to blame when a robot is neglected? The courts are undecided, and robot caregiver legislation is still in its early stages.

According to Sharkey and Sharkey (2010), caregiver robots might be held accountable for breaches of privacy, injury caused by illegal constraint, misleading activities, psychological harm, and accountability failings.

Future robot ethical frameworks must prioritize the needs of patients above the wishes of caretakers.

In interviews with the elderly, Wu et al. (2010) discovered six themes connected to patient requirements.

Thirty people in their sixties and seventies agreed that assistive technology should initially aid them with simple, daily chores.

Other important needs included maintaining good health, stimulating memory and concentration, living alone "for as long as I wish without worrying my family circle" (Wu et al. 2010, 36), maintaining curiosity and growing interest in new activities, and communicating with relatives on a regular basis.

In popular culture, robot maids, nannies, and caregiver technologies are all prominent clichés.

Several early instances may be seen in the television series The Twilight Zone.

In "The Lateness of the Hour," a man develops a whole family of robot slaves (1960).

In "I Sing the Body Electric," Grandma is a robot babysitter (1962).

From the animated television series The Jetsons (1962–1963), Rosie the robotic maid is a notable character.

In the animated movie Wall-E (2008) and Big Hero 6 (2014), as well as the science fiction thriller I Am Mother, caregiver robots are a central narrative component (2019).

They're also commonly seen in manga and anime.

Roujin Z (1991), Kurogane Communication (1997), and The Umbrella Academy are just a few examples (2019).

In popular culture, Jake Schreier's 2012 science fiction film Robot and Frank dramatizes the limits and potential of caregiver robot technology.

A gruff former jewel thief with deteriorating mental health seeks to make his robotic sidekick into a criminal accomplice in the film.

The film delves into a number of ethical concerns including not just the care of the elderly, but also the rights of robots in slavery.

"We are psychologically evolved not merely to nurture what we love, but to love what we nurture," says MIT social scientist Sherry Turkle (Turkle 2011, 11).

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan

You may also want to read more about Artificial Intelligence here.

See also: 

Ishiguro, Hiroshi; Robot Ethics; Turkle, Sherry.

Further Reading

Borenstein, Jason, and Yvette Pearson. 2011. “Robot Caregivers: Ethical Issues across the Human Lifespan.” In Robot Ethics: The Ethical and Social Implications ofRobotics, edited by Patrick Lin, Keith Abney, and George A. Bekey, 251–65. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Sharkey, Noel, and Amanda Sharkey. 2010. “The Crying Shame of Robot Nannies: An Ethical Appraisal.” Interaction Studies 11, no. 2 (January): 161–90.

Sharkey, Noel, and Amanda Sharkey. 2012. “The Eldercare Factory.” Gerontology 58, no. 3: 282–88.

Sparrow, Robert, and Linda Sparrow. 2006 “In the Hands of Machines? The Future of Aged Care.” Minds and Machines 16, no. 2 (May): 141–61.

Turkle, Sherry. 2011. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. New York: Basic Books.

United Nations. 2019. World Population Ageing Highlights. New York: Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division.

Vallor, Shannon. 2011. “Carebots and Caregivers: Sustaining the Ethical Ideal of Care in the Twenty-First Century.” Philosophy & Technology 24, no. 3 (September): 251–68.

Van Wynsberghe, Aimee. 2013. “Designing Robots for Care: Care Centered Value Sensitive Design.” Science and Engineering Ethics 19, no. 2 (June): 407–33.

Wu, Ya-Huei, Véronique Faucounau, Mélodie Boulay, Marina Maestrutti, and Anne Sophie Rigaud. 2010. “Robotic Agents for Supporting Community-Dwelling Elderly People with Memory Complaints: Perceived Needs and Preferences.” Health Informatics Journal 17, no. 1: 33–40.

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