More Robot Helpers by the Bed?

It pays to have a look at the cause of the poll, which was news (i.e. on Zorgvisie) about a German ‘Helper Robot’, the Casero (see picture). There are more of such robots under development (e.g. Care-o-Bot). One could describe them as driving carts, with clever bits and pieces, that can serve drinks and food for example.

According to the researchers developing him the idea behind Casero is (source: Robotics Wire):

When the Duisburg researchers observed the care workers’ daily routines and tasks, they soon noticed that there was seldom enough time to exchange a few kind words with patients. Staff shortages were everywhere. While the robots run errands and allow games to be played on their displays, care workers could devote more of their time to caring for the elderly.

Well, that line of reasoning is interesting, but illogical if buying an maintaining robots is as expensive as hiring people. Then it should be seen as replacement. For Zorgvisie also report:

The robot is hardly cheap. “Casero is as expensive as a fulltime hire”, says Volker Bessler of the care home in Stuttgart where the first service robot was tested.

In this light, it is understandable that most people rejected the idea that it constitutes an improvement. And then we have not even discussed all the things the robot can not do.

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