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Thursday, June 29, 2023

Scientists hope AI-enhanced ‘robo-cats’ will help the elderly

We talked this with Japan associates, saw their AI powered solutions. Japan has addressed the problem for a long time. 

Scientists hope AI-enhanced ‘robo-cats’ will help the elderly

By Associated Press, December 19, 2017

PROVIDENCE, RI — Imagine a cat that can keep a person company, doesn’t need a litter box and can remind an aging relative to take her medicine or help find her eyeglasses.

That’s the vision of toymaker Hasbro and scientists at Brown University, who have received a three-year, $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to find ways to add artificial intelligence to Hasbro’s “Joy for All” robotic cat.

The cat, which has been on the market for two years, is aimed at seniors and meant to act as a “companion.” It purrs and meows and even appears to lick its paw and roll over to ask for a belly rub. The Brown-Hasbro project is aimed at developing additional capabilities for the cats to help older adults with simple tasks.

Researchers at Brown’s Humanity-Centered Robotics Initiative are working to determine which tasks make the most sense and which can help older adults stay in their own homes longer, such as finding lost objects or reminding the owner to call someone or go to a doctor’s appointment.

“It’s not going to iron and wash dishes,” said Bertram Malle, a professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences at Brown. “Nobody expects them to have a conversation. Nobody expects them to move around and fetch a newspaper. They’re really good at providing comfort.”  ... 

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