Everyone is concerned with the potential nursing shortage predicted in the upcoming 10 -15 years. The baby boomers are coming of age, the age of nursing homes and increasing age-related health issues. Where then, will the health professionals come from?
Nursing schools are frantically attempting to expand, searching and recruiting new participants and instructors as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, it is a sad reality that they are just not keeping up with the influx of aging patients.
Japan’s Kokoro robotics company has teamed with Advance Telecommunications Research (ATR) to remedy this dilemma. You may remember Kokoro robotics from last year when they debuted the DIY robot girlfriend kit. While not a huge success in the United States it did gain some notoriety. One could easily guess this was just the beginning of the robot/android invasion. This time they have collaborated and released a video of the Actroid-F, the robotic nurse. It is touted to act as “an observer in hospitals to gauge patient reactions”. The first question that comes to mind, what reactions? Physical or emotional? Both? Does it recognize that someone is in pain? Or, are they just angry?
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The wide range of realistic facial expressions and emotive gestures are truly amazing, albeit somewhat creepy. We need more information though, such as what exactly is its purpose? What can it do and what are its limitations? Until then, I believe the nursing schools are safe in expanding their student body.