Next month, the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, will show off both a new house and a new robot. Let us explain. The house, which will be displayed at the AAHSA's annual meeting in Los Angeles, is a 2,500-square-foot concept house designed for the elderly: The home has modified kitchens and bathrooms as well as technologies like an exercise pool and outdoor fitness equipment developed for older adults. Additionally, a new socially assistive robot will come with the house.
His name is Bandit, he looks like a cross between ET and a shiny button, and he's being developed by the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering. Check out video here.
He can help you exercise, and can also detect and respond to a person’s emotion or physical movements, according to the press release. Notably, he can "remove a sense of isolation that an older person may feel." Southern California Presbyterian Homes, which serves more than 3,400 residents in the state, is currently using the robot as a part of a study to observe the robot’s interactivity with older people. Let's hope the human-robotic relations are working out well.
· Viterbi School Research Dean to Study Ways to use Robots to Encourage People to be Active [USC]