Comment from Clive: Can robots put the social back into social care?

clive-gilbertWould you entrust a robot with your care? According to a poll conducted by YouGov last year, around half of us would like robots to perform domestic tasks for disabled and older people.

The UK is at the forefront of innovation when it comes to building autonomous systems for the home. Dyson’s 360 robot vacuum cleaner is heavily influenced by the company’s collaboration with Imperial College London which has produced world leading research on robot vision. The University of Edinburgh is studying how a robot might be able to decipher their owner’s instructions to learn to carry out a daily living task by interpreting their verbal communications, eye movements and hand gestures. Perhaps the most ambitious project is Middlesex University and the University of Bedfordshire’s three-year project to design social humanoid robots with capabilities ranging from giving medication and connecting to household appliances, to providing companionship and facilitating communication with loved ones and health care professionals.

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