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Seniors prefer the company of humanoid robots

2021-06-19T14:50:29.785Z

Seniors prefer robots: this is demonstrated by the experiment in which the humanoid robot Nadine entertained a group of elderly people in a retirement home playing Bingo with them (ANSA)



Seniors prefer robots: this was demonstrated by the experiment in which the humanoid robot Nadine entertained a group of elderly people in a retirement home playing Bingo with them.

Created by the Nayang University of Technology in Singapore, where the robot was developed, the experiment is presented on arXiv, the site that welcomes articles awaiting scrutiny from the scientific community, and has shown how machines can be an important tool for assistance to the elderly, as well as a leisure companion.

"Ever more advanced humanoid robots, as in this case, are proving to be an excellent solution to integrate the current assistance, support and monitoring services for the elderly or people with motor or cognitive deficits", Filippo Cavallo, dell 'Institute of Biorobotics of the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna and of the University of Florence.

The protagonist for a few days of the Bright Hill Evergreen Nursing Home in Singapore was Nadine, the robot with female features already protagonist of many other similar experiments and as a receptionist.

In this case, the android is committed to entertaining the 29 over 60 residents of the retirement home by playing Bingo with them.


Robot Nadine entertaining retirement home guests (source: Mishra et al.)

The robot took care of calling the numbers and solving any requests from the participants. All sessions were filmed to monitor the facial expressions and gestures of the participants to assess the level of attention and all the parameters useful to define the involvement. The data were compared with the reactions recorded when humans were driving the activities: it was found that the elderly preferred the robot Nadine. "It is a new confirmation - specified Cavallo - of the great progress made not only in the imitation of human abilities, such as language or voice, but also in all aspects related to non-verbal communication".

According to Cavallo, however, the function of this type of humanoid robot is not only for entertainment: they are very powerful tools capable of monitoring the conditions of the people with whom they interact and measure changes over time, for example for degenerative diseases and be actively used to follow up on children. therapy patients. “They are not toys, but powerful healing tools. However, it is essential - he concludes - that they are not used to make up for lack of personnel or social contacts ”.

Source: ansa

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