Using robots to help provide support for dementia patients is no longer a distant possibility with the invention of a humanoid personal care assistant that would revolutionize therapy for those suffering the disorder.
Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University recently unveiled Nadine, a robot designed to take the form and mimic actions of humans to act as a care provider or personal assistant for the elderly- particularly those suffering from dementia.
Nadia Thalmann, the director for the university’s Institute for Media Innovation and a visiting professor, said that they have spent some 30 years doing research on virtual humans and, as a result, have made a breakthrough with the development of Nadine.
The 1.7 meter tall Nadine was developed in the likeness of Thalmann and designed to recognize people, display emotions and respond to questions and although Nadine is just a prototype and is still not commercially available, the concept is going to be a milestone in helping provide support to patients and the elderly.
Thalmann pointed out that people diagnosed with dementia need more personal attention and care, where oftentimes human factors also affect a care provider’s patience and emotional well-being.
With intelligent robots taking that role, it may be able to work wonders for therapy treatment of these patients.
Dementia is often a common risk affecting many elderly people and although age is a risk factor, there are also several controllable factors that increase the risk for people to be affected by it.
With the potential high incidences of dementia in society, we may subscribe to the idea that robots may one day care dementia patients.
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