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Robots for our Old Age:

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Roxane Caudron

on 15 April 2016

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Transcript of Robots for our Old Age:

Robots for our Old Age:
Using Assistive Technologies to Fill the Elderly Care Gap
4 years
19 people
7.8 Million euros
The Companionable Project
@ University of Reading UK
1. Why the elderly?

2. Why South Limburg?

3. Examples of care robots operating in South Limburg

4. Preliminary conclusions

5. Discussion: robots as caregivers

Why South Limburg?
More powerfully manifested an ageing population than any other Dutch province

One of the first provinces to exhibit population decline

Pioneered tackling population ageing and decline
Robotic Bathroom Assistant
When the motor skills of the elderly deteriorate...
Electronic Navigation Aids
The Personal Care Robots of South Limburg
ZorgTV / CareTV
Immobile Telepresence Healthcare-bot
Sociable Robots for the elderly
Highly tactile robots aimed at keeping the elderly company
McArm (Motion Controlled Arm support)
Innovative arm support controlled through intuitive force
exertion (minimal arm

Femke Verwest (2011)
Should we entrust robots with the home care of the elderly in South Limburg?
Source: Robotic Industries Automation
Source: Global Research Canada
The holistic process in which actors contribute to the execution, characterization and orientation of change in a region
Regional Development:

Why the elderly?

What's it like to be a senior living alone?
Increased Dependency Ratios:

More people claiming pension benefits
Less people paying income taxes to fund these benefits
More people paying lower taxes as they are elderly and unemployed

How can the Dutch government react?
Higher taxes

Raise retirement age

Rely on private sector of healthcare
Work disincentives & disincentives for firms to invest
= fall in productivity & growth

Societal discontent

Inequality for those who cannot afford private pensions

I am Hector - the mobile assistive home robot

Should robots be entrusted with the home care of the elderly?
A shrinking & ageing population --> we need new means of caring for the elderly
% of population
aged 65+
% of population aged 20 - 65
The Elderly Care Gap
How is robotics relevant to regional development?

A high growth area
High positive impact on job creation
Essential for addressing societal problems
(Verwest, 2011)
(Carey, 2013)

A mechanical device capable of performing a variety of tasks on command or according to instructions programmed in advance.
Personal Care Robots
perform services useful to the well-being of humans.

Should we entrust robots with the home care of the elderly in South Limburg?
Personal Care Robots could allow the elderly to remain independent, living in their own homes
This would relieve some pressure on the already understaffed and over populated nursing homes of South Limburg
BUT robots as care givers come with many ethical concerns

PCRs enable the elderly to live longer in their own homes, when their mental/physical condition dictates they have lost their ability to safely live independently.
Governments with higher spending commitments towards healthcare and pensions
(Hogeschool Zuyd, Heerlen, 2013)
(Brainport 2020, 2013)
(Hogeschool Zuyd, Heerlen, 2013)
(Limburg Economic Development, 2012)
Preliminary Conclusions:
Full transcript