As we begin to move further into the 21st century, technology is becoming more of an integral part of medicine. Until now, it has always been argued that technology has yet to replace the human element, but robotic applications in member states of the European Union are challenging that statement.
Currently, India-based company Robosoft is testing a fleet of robotic nurses to take care of elderly and disabled patients in European countries.
What separates Robosoft from other robotic nursing companies is their ability to harmoniously combine function and design. These robotic nurses functionality and design is based on the type of patient and disability.
So unlike other companies, who have one humanoid design that attempts to perform a wide variety of functions, Robosoft has a wide variety of robots that are limited to a small variety of tasks. For instance, the robotic walker is a walker that encourages seniors to be more social.
The robot looks like a walker; however, it has the ability to keep a senior citizen’s schedule through vocal commands and remind them if they have someplace to be. If needed, this robot can encourage the senior to go to events through a series of positive reminders, as well as guide them to their event.
The purpose of this walker is to help senior citizens maintain a healthy social life, while providing safe transportation. Another robot is designed to eat with elderly patients. While this may seem pointless, a large problem in nursing homes is depression.
Having a companion to eat with lowers the rate of depression and encourages the patients to eat more. The robot itself can engage in basic conversation, play the news, or play the radio.
Currently, these robots are in their testing phase. To test and perfect their designs, Robosoft was given approximately $7.2 million from the European commission and $2.5 million from private companies.
The results of testing from various nursing homes across the European Union concluded that these robots were just as helpful as the more expensive android models, if not more so.
In addition, the tests showed that the elderly “realized robotics is not dehumanizing the relationship”, meaning that elderly patients did not feel bad they were being treated with robots.
Robosoft plans to begin sales of the walker and the eating robot in early 2017. What makes Robosoft stand out is their price for these robots; since they are not as complicated as the other robots in the market, they sell at a cheaper price.
Due to the cheaper price, nursing homes will be taking less of a financial risk buying them for their patients.
These robots are also simpler to start up than other, more expensive androids, allowing the robot to be better used by the elderly patients.