The novelty of $4,300 “communication robot” Ifbot wore off after about a month of active service in a Kyoto nursing home, with elderly residents preferring the silent, unconditional love of teddy bears.
Most old people “see robots as overly-complicated and unpractical” says Ruth Campbell, a social worker at the University of Tokyo, which is putting a rather large dampener on Japan’s big idea of using robots to help care for its rapidly ageing population.
The same Reuters report points out that old people would rather have simple things – like phones with big numbers on. Are we seeing the death of the Japanese healthcare robotics scene before it’s even really kicked off?
Sony AIBO-like robot, the New4LR, is open-source and speccy
Toyota’s DJ Robot becomes a slightly less glamorous receptionist
Robots walking faster and learning from their mistakes – but still rubbish