At the 2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) this week, the Clothbot, a personal modular robot, has been developed with the aspiration to assist in home care.  This digital friend can be of valuable use in monitoring health of the elderly or disabled.

Created by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, this tech friend can climb up and down stairs, navigate across rugged surfaces, and follow you around.

Its creators, headed by Yuanyuan Liu, envisioned a robot that can:

–          Conduct “body inspection”

–          “Act as a movable phone on our shoulder with frees human hands”

–          “A tiny pet climbing on human bodies”

While others might find this invasive or perhaps creepy, there is a great potential benefit that can come from an interactive robot like Clothbot:

–          A tracking and monitoring device to assist someone who is unable to grip or hold other devices, such as a phone, can be extremely beneficial

–          An alarm system that alerts the recipient of the information any potential danger, similar to sensory detectors or alarms

–          Increase interaction and activity among idle elders (similar robots have been used as games)

–          Companionship  – Just recently, Britain’s Royal Academy of Engineering recommended similar autonomous devices such as the Dream Cat Venus to provide companionship to older people.

 

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