Now, normally, the Dream It Do It blog is geared—literally—towards the younger generations of students and kids to get them interested in subjects like math and science. But new technology isn’t just for the young kids out there. Science, technology, engineering and math are needed for all generations, both young and old.
That’s why this post is dedicated to the people who have already made their way in the world, and should give hope to our parents and grandparents that the future is looking out for them too. Because according to the Huffington Post, a new generation of robots have been designed to care for us when we reach our golden years.
Between now and 2050, the population of people over 65 is predicted to nearly double in size. And so, more and more engineers, entrepreneurs and governments are coming to the conclusion that new technologies are needed to help accommodate with aging populations.
Here are six examples of engineered assistants that will take care of us when we’re older, via the Huffington Post:
- HERB, the Home Exploring Robot Butler: Developed by researchers at Intel and Carnegie Mellon University, HERB is exactly what the name suggests. He’s a prototype robot butler that can assist with cooking, cleaning, and other household chores. He even comes with his own bowtie to achieve the full butler vibe. Here’s a video of HERB pulling off the most crucial of kitchen tasks—twisting apart an Oreo.
- GiraffPlus or “Skype on Wheels”: Funded by the EU, GiraffPlus is a program that puts remote-controlled bots in the homes of elderly patients so that friends and family can have virtual visits. The technology is already being tested with six elderly candidates in Europe and is featured on tech blog Motherboard.
- Care-O-Bot 3: Similar to HERB, this robot was designed by German company Fraunhofer IPA to help those who can’t move around their homes live independently. It can fetch and carry items, allows video conferencing like GiraffPlus, and can also call the police in emergencies.
- Cody the Robotic Nurse: An engineered robot out of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Cody is designed to help clean and bathe the elderly. He’s designed to apply gentle pressure while washing patients and should help relieve the human stigma of needing assistance bathing.
- Paro the Robotic Seal: Studies show that animal companions are therapeutic to sick patients, but may compromise cleanliness in a hospital setting. Enter Paro, the robotic seal out of Japan that is simply adorable. In several trials with nursing home patients, Paro has provided companionship, lowered stress levels, and has shown to raise the social-bonding hormone oxytocin, just like a dog would.
- HAL, the “Hybrid Assistive Limb”: No, it’s not that HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey. This “Hybrid Assistive Limb” is a robotic exoskeleton that could greatly improve the mobility of elderly or disabled people who wear it. In 2013, the Japanese company Cyberdyne gave the green light to begin selling the HAL to the public. (Ironically, Cyberdyne is the same name as the fictional, evil robotics company in the “Terminator” movies. We can assure you that this is merely a coincidence…)
There are plenty of other stories on the blog about improvements being made to give assistance to people, everything from regeneration of human organs to bionic arms for wounded veterans. The message that all these new technologies tell is this: the biggest reason to make advancements in science and technology is to help people.
We hope that these stories and machines will inspire you to get in the STEM game and come up with brilliant designs that will make life more enjoyable for everyone out there, both young and old. The future is in your hands and will get brighter and brighter with every achievement you make.
Photo credit: Fast Company