Posts Tagged ‘robots’
Here’s a wheelchair alternative that may eventually save on the cost of some of the more expensive home modifications such as widening doorways. It’s a new concept that will surely improve but already holds much promise.
According to its website, Tek RMD, provides the opportunity of movement for people with paraplegia by enabling them to independently stand up in a completely upright position with correct posture, facilitating their movement and comfortable completion of their daily tasks indoors, such as in the home, office and shopping mall. Tek RMD is not an alternative to wheelchairs, it is a totally new concept, a new platform. Read the rest of this entry »
Listen to the podcast above, as Steven Cherry introduces the topic and then interviews professor Wendi Heinzelman.
Listen carefully, because it’s short:
That person sounded sad, right? Let’s try another one.
“Six hundred five!”
Definitely not sadness. Could you tell? It was pride. Listen again.
“Six hundred five!”
While many doctors naturally disagree, Dr. Oz believes the future of medicine will depend more on technology than doctors. “I see the car, which is right now one of the most unused spaces in our lives, becoming a mobile examination suite for you,” says the heart surgeon, turned talk show host. “It can weigh you and tell how stressed you are by how you grip the steering wheel, the sweat on your fingers, and heart rate variability.” (1:29 VIDEO, below)
As a technologist watching this space and reporting on health & wellness innovations at CES, I concur with Dr. Oz and have explored the effect of technology, automation and healthcare robots and on jobs. That’s why I was attracted by this CBS 60 Minutes segment on The March of the Machines and how automation is likely to effect the job market, including positions in medicine. Read the rest of this entry »
Tech solutions for home healthcare naturally include healthcare robots, some of which can enhance our physical abilities or make up for disabilities, while others assist healthcare workers or in some cases replace their jobs entirely. But what does the future hold for such devices? Will robots take over? And if a robot replaces your job, what will you do next? I addressed these questions previously from two different perspectives in Automation, Robots and The Pink Collar Future. Today I extend the series based on the latest issue of WIRED, which explores the future of tech innovation, robots and automation. It’s a long and well done article that I can’t reproduce here, so I’ll just include some highlights and the reader comment I added.
In an opening essay, comedian Jimmy Fallon asks, “Why hire a human when a machine can do it better and faster?“ Better Than Human: Why Robots Will — And Must — Take Our Jobs
Consider the effect that automation has already had. Two hundred years ago, 70% of American workers lived on farms. Automation in the Industrial Age has since eliminated all but 1% of farm workers, replacing them (and their work animals) with machines. But the displaced workers did not sit idle. They moved to cities to work in factories and industry, filling millions of entirely new jobs. But change in the Information Age is happening more quickly, and many fear that technology is replacing jobs faster than creating new ones. That anyway is the perspective I added in my comment. Read the rest of this entry »
“Human actions could become more accurately predictable, thanks to neuroscience. Nano-sized robots will deliver cancer-fighting drugs directly to their targets. And though many recently lost jobs may never come back, people will find plenty to do (and get paid for) in the future,” according to forecasts you’ll find in this roundup of the most thought-provoking possibilities and ideas published in The Futurist magazine over the past year.
I’ve extracted the following Health & Medicine forecasts from the World Future Society’s special report, Outlook 2013. It’s a promotional piece to attract new members who then get a subscription to The Futurist.
- Better health, but fewer doctors.
A projected shortage of more than 90,000 doctors by 2020 will drive technological innovations such as low-cost, point-of-care diagnostics—i.e., Lab-on-a-Chip technologies. A cell-phone-sized device could analyze your blood or sputum while you talk to a health provider from the comfort of your home. —Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler, “The Abundance Builders,” July-Aug 2012,p. 17
Read the rest of this entry »
The following is taken from a Georgia Tech research project that was supported in part by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) under the auspices of the Center for Research and Education on Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE-center.org). The market research explored general awareness and likely acceptance of assistive robots among 21 independent living seniors.
Robots have the potential to support older adults at home as they age in place, as well as if they live in assisted living or skilled nursing residences. They can conceivably support older adults for various activities, including self-maintenance and enhanced activities of daily living. For example, robots could assist older adults in performing a task, such as providing stability as they get dressed. They could also execute tasks that older adults can no longer do themselves, such as opening a jar, or tasks that may be unsafe to perform, such as retrieving items from a high shelf or (eventually) driving a car.
By Alex Lane (original article: What is a Smart Home? Samsung’s NaviBot S can clean the low places)
The original Smart Home device has to be the Teasmade, and the textbooks say that a smart home is one that uses home networking technology and your internet connection to automate and simplify everyday living.
It’s the use of networking and broadband connections that takes smart home technology beyond simple home automation, where each device usually stands alone, with its own control system.
Smart home tech is a fast-growing field, from cleaning your house to opening the curtains and switching on the lights. There’s also a growing field of utility and power management, for your gas, water and electricity [and for home health care]. Surrounding them all are unified networking and control systems that can control and monitor all of your devices, not just one for each.
Editor’s note: Last night I participated in ”I am Robot. Hear me roar,” an online discussion hosted by HuffPost Live and using Google+ Hangouts to support several people connected via webcam. The discussion questioned how automation can make human workers obsolete. Will robots make your own job as a caretaker obsolete? I was asked to participate because of my interest in tech futures that include Healthcare Robots. Jamais Cascio also participated and offered some quite interesting insights. He shared the following article with the audience and gave me permission to republish it here.
Different perspectives: Following the article are two videos.
First is a PBS report that looks at robots and automation as replacing human workers. It’s what many Democrats worry about, and many unemployed workers complain about.
Second is a heart-warming movie trailer from Robot and Frank, which opens in theaters this month and gives a rosier view of technology that’s more like a friendly assistant than a job killer. This optimistic view is similar to the picture Republicans paint, but with no worry about those left behind and unemployed.
So which is it? Just as futurists consider different scenarios and what may lead to their preferred version of the future, you too can decide which version you like and either help make it happen for yourself, or prevent it from happening to others. As you think about this, realize that technology won’t slow down, but its impact on society can be controlled with smart policy decisions. Add your own perspectives below.
The Pink Collar Future
By Jamais Cascio, futurist, writer, speaker and founder of Open The Future
The claim that robots are taking our jobs has become so commonplace of late that it’s a bit of a cliché. Nonetheless, it has a strong element of truth to it. Not only are machines taking “blue collar” factory jobs — a process that’s been underway for years, and no longer much of a surprise except when a company like Foxconn announces it’s going to bring in a million robots (which are less likely to commit suicide, apparently) — but now mechanized/digital systems are quickly working their way up the employment value chain. “Grey collar” service workers have been under pressure for awhile, especially those jobs (like travel agent) that involve pattern-matching; now jobs involving the composition of structured reports (such as basic journalism) have digital competition, and Google’s self-driving car portends a future of driverless taxicabs. But even “white collar” jobs, managerial and supervisory in particular, are being threatened — in part due to replacement, and in part due to declining necessity. After all, if the line workers have been replaced by machines, there’s little need for direct human oversight of the kind required by human workers, no? Stories of digital lawyers and surgeons simply accelerate the perception that robots really are taking over the workplace, and online education systems like the Khan Academy demonstrate how readily university-level learning can be conducted without direct human contact.
Robots and other assistive technology may be inevitable in aged care moving into the future, but can they replace the human touch? Annie May reports. Reprinted from Aged Care INsite, Apr/May 2011, and expanded greatly since.
Standing at just 40cm tall and looking suspiciously like the latest toy their grandchildren have been dropping hints about for their upcoming birthdays, Matilda the robot doesn’t give the impression that she has much to offer in the way of care for the elderly.
So when placed in front of an aged care resident to talk about her diet, the resident doesn’t have high expectations. But on admitting to having a love of sweets, Matilda is quick to inform her about all the negative health impacts this indulgence can have. Becoming slightly anxious, – whether a result of being lectured by a bright orange robot or at the thought of having to cut back on her sweets – the resident is then shocked at being reassured by the robot.
How can it be that this baby-face robot can read emotions and give a sensitive response? The result of a breakthrough by Melbourne and Japanese scientists, Matilda is one of two robots, the other her brother Jack, which has been developed with ‘emotional intelligent’ software.