Technology continues to advance year after year, and it has led to various innovative products that have made life easier for many people. However, the advancement in robotics is causing concern for many workers, as they are worried that their jobs could be taken over by robots in the near future.
Though some jobs are foreseen to become automated in the next few years, other careers are deemed to be safe as they require a human touch. But now, one of the jobs that entail a lot of human interaction could also become obsolete as robots are being developed to care for the elderly.
According to BBC, Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University is fine-tuning the technology for robots to be able to function as nurses. The learning institution is starting with a robot called “Nadine,” which is currently working as a receptionist at the university’s Institute of Media Innovation.
Nadine is made to resemble a human being, and the “intelligent” robot is said to be capable of autonomous behavior. The robot can recognize people and human emotions, and it can even make associations using its knowledge database.
The Telegraph described Nadine as having soft skin and flowing brunette hair. She is able to greet visitors, make eye contact, smile, shake hands, and can even recognize past guests and converse based on previous interactions.
It was said that scientists are predicting that the new technology which brought Nadine to the world will eventually be able to provide childcare and offer friendship to lonely elderly people. Experts believe that the answer to providing quality care to address an elderly person’s needs is having robots which could function as nurses.
A team led by Professor Nadia Thalmann is working on Nadine as they fine-tune its skills. The team has been working on virtual human research for years, and Nadine has been around for three years.
Though Nadine is still a work in progress, Thalmann said that the robot will automatically adapt to the person and situation she deals with, which makes the robot suited to looking after the elderly. Nadine can monitor a patient’s wellbeing, call for help, chat, read stories, and play games.
Apparently, the advantages of having a robot nurse is that a person’s needs will always come first, as robots are programmed to do what they need to do.
“The humanoid is never tired or bored,” said Thalmann. “It will just do what it is dedicated for.”
For more, check out Jobs & Hire’s report on three things you need to know about self-driving cars.