Where Are the Elder Care Robots?
A scene from the movie "Robot & Frank."
In this guest post, Frank Tobe, a robotics analyst and publisher of The Robot Report, describes the technologies that are beginning to come to market to help the elderly live in their homes as long as possible.
In 2003, BusinessWeek interviewed Joseph Engelberger, the robotics pioneer who helped invent the first industrial robot. The article was entitled "How Robots Lost Their Way." Included in the story was a plea for money to build an eldercare robot that Engelberger thought could be built with then-current technologies, rented for $600 per month, operated at a cost of $1.25 per hour (compared to healthcare homeworkers who cost around $15 per hour) and developed at a cost of less than $700,000.