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Following the footsteps, or, more accurately, the endearing sounds of Paro, a new robot design has been presented to help soothe the anxieties of elderly people with dementia: Babyloid.
The mastermind behind Babyloid: Masayoshi Kanoh, an associate professor at Chukyo University, Japan
In the news:
New Scientist: Fluffy baby robot helps
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Tech Crunch: Babyloid: Therapeutic Baby Robot For The Elderly.
Inhabitat: Cuddly Babyloid Robot Comforts Lonely Senior Citizens
Robot161: Babyloid: therapeutische baby robot voor ouderen
Other products people buy to comfort elderly people with dementia:
- Paro: about EUR 5000
- Reborn Doll: Comfort Therapy Dolls For Alzheimer’s And Dementia Patients
- Dolls4Alzheimers: about $100
- Fur Real Friends: e.g. Lulu, my cuddlin kitty pet (video): about EUR 60
A robot is under development, in the US near Stanford. It is named Veebot and will automate the proces of drawing blood and assist the person in charge of the process. The idea is that less mistakes will be made, patients will
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have less chance of getting injured and the total variable costs will decrease and the machine
will earn money for hospitals. What the robot would cost is unclear. The company, Veebot LCC, presents its ideas on their website but does not go into detail: http://www.veebot.com/
IEEE Spectrum recent report:
Here is a video report from PandoList about Veebot, from may 2012:
NTDTVLast week the Home Care & Rehabilitation Exhibition was held in Tokyo. On it Panasonic demonstrated three interesting and (rather) new products:
- A Hair-Washing Robot
- A Bed-Chair ‘Transformer’
- A Telepresence Robot, HOSPI-Rimo
The video provides good info, both regarding the way the products function and regarding their commercial status. Highly recommended! More about the hair-washing robot: A nice image of the way the bed transforms into a chair (it ‘undocks’):
Here is an interesting new robotic surgery assistant: the ARTAS™ System. It was recently cleared by the FDA (read more). ARTAS apparently helps with something called ‘hair follicle harvesting’, according
to Restoration Robotics, the company
that invented and produces the system.
The procedure is as follows. The client first sits in the Artas chair, and then his hair is millimetered. Then, a robotic arm equipped with a camera initiates ‘small dermal punches’ and harvests individual follicles. This is under the control of a doctor. The follicles, which are later transplanted by hand, will start producing their own hair over months.
prototype of the device. Apparently, no sutures or bandages were required
and using ARTAS is quicker and less invasive than other hair
transplantation techniques, like strip harvesting where a strip of skin with hair is transplanted to a balding area. The company expects to reach extraction rates to 750 to 1,000 follicular units per hour. In addition, it may require fewer staff (although robot support engineers should probably be on standby).