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Friday, March 31, 2017

'Robots' and the care industry. Lots of talk. Very little action


The Baxter Longevity report is a good summary of the topics that are buzzing around the Ageing Business.

I had to smile when I read the article about the use of robotics in the care of older people. The good old example of PARO was talked about, yet again. It must be a decade since I first attended a session, in Tokyo, where the beguiling little seal was demonstrated.

I am always worried when the same examples are always quoted as it is a good indicator that little new is happening. A bit like Oxo as the supplier of kitchen devices that are age-friendly. I must have first referenced the company 10+ years ago but it still keeps appearing.

I then read that the EU has taken an interest in the use of robotics and care with its Robot-Era initiative. This is normally the kiss of death for any technology. No doubt a lot of money will be spent on consultants, academic research projects and PR to promote the meagre outcomes but the likelihood of it delivering anything like useable products is zilch. The video is not exactly inspiring.

Don’t get me wrong, I do see a massive potential for using new technology in the care industry but it ain't going to be in any of the high profile topics that are currently being reported.

Much better use of your time to read Laurie Orlov's report on the industry. Dick Stroud

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