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Emotion-Riddled Androids

The Meka Robot Will Comfort and Care for the Elderly

— October 17, 2011 — Tech
Although the function of robots was originally to automate factory processes, the Meka Robot is taking strides toward building automatons capable of caring for, comforting and ensuring the safety of the young and elderly. In short, this is a social bot.

It may not change a baby's diaper or help take blood samples from a diabetic, but the Meka Robot is as capable and friendly as humanoid bots come. In lieu of a mouth, the robot expresses itself through complex gestures and has LED-powered ears that change color according to its mood and thinking patterns. With the help of dedicated research students from the University of Texas at Austin, Professor Luis Sentis ensured that the Meka Robot could perform all the tiny, barely noticeable idiosyncrasies that humans are quick to detect, including posture, eye movements and limb dexterity.

Check out the video and decide whether you'd be comfortable with this guy taking care of you during retirement!
Trend Themes
1. Social Robotics - Developing robots that can care for, comfort and ensure the safety of humans, particularly those in need, such as elderly and sick.
2. Emotionally Intelligent Robots - Creating robots with the ability to understand emotions and express themselves without the use of words, providing a more human-like interaction for companionship and caregiving.
3. Customizable Limb Dexterity - Designing robots that can perform the tiny, barely noticeable idiosyncrasies that humans are quick to detect, including posture, eye movements and limb dexterity, enhancing their abilities to assist humans in different ways.
Industry Implications
1. Healthcare - Introducing socially intelligent and emotionally expressive robots to healthcare, particularly nursing homes and hospitals, to improve quality of life for patients and relieve the burden on health care workers.
2. Aging Services - Incorporating socially intelligent robots into aging services, particularly for elderly care and assisted living facilities, to provide companionship and assistance in daily tasks such as medication management, monitoring vital signs and fall detection.
3. Education - Using robots with customizable limb dexterity to teach practical skills or behaviors that require precise movements and subtle adjustments, such as playing a musical instrument or practicing surgical procedures.
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