Robots rise to meet the challenge of caring for old people

Assistive robots have not quite reached the level of The Jetsons, the animated 1960s sitcom in which Rosie the robot maid zipped around a futuristic house doing all the chores people would rather avoid. But in a few years, robotic assistants might routinely feature in older people’s homes, helping them to care for themselves, providing emotional support, and allowing remote access for doctors and nurses. In retirement homes, they could entertain residents or help with cleaning. And in hospitals, they are already taking over some basic tasks, freeing up nurses to focus on patient care.

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