New wave of robotic caregivers for seniors unveiled

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Photo: Laboratory for Perceptual Robotics, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Photo: Laboratory for Perceptual Robotics, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Should we call it a grandroid? Scientists at the University of Massachusetts have created a sophisticated robot to help care for older adults.

The "uBot-5" was designed specifically to care for seniors, according to the Boston Herald. It also boasts more advanced features than its clunkier counterparts. Its design mimics the human body, with a robotic torso and arms, and a touch-screen computer monitor with web-cam for a head. Two wheels for legs make it more maneuverable than some of the robots currently found in hospitals.

Like its older counterparts, the uBot-5 can call for assistance in the event of a fall, remind seniors to take their medication and allow doctors to give check-ups from remote locations. Engineers, though, designed this robot to be a little more useful around the house: it can do chores such as picking up the garbage and emptying the dishwasher.

The robot, according to the Herald, is still in its research and development phase, but scientists said they hope to have prototypes roaming the halls of nursing homes within the next five years.