First-of-its-kind humanoid robot deployed in nursing home to help Alzheimer’s patients

Humanoid robots have been deployed in Minnesota nursing home for the care of the sick with early stages Alzheimer’s disease.

These robots, developed by a team of researchers at the University of Minnesota, are equipped to help people with their emotional, physical and cognitive health. They are believed to be the first in the US to focus on caring for patients with dementia.

“I am thrilled to be making history with my students by placing humanoid robots in nursing homes to help care for our seniors,” said Arshia Khan, professor of computer science at the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering. Swenson in Duluth.

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Humanoid robots are designed to provide a wide range of support and assistance to patients with early stage Alzheimer’s disease. Pictured above is one of the robots.

One robot is a two-foot model called NAO, and another four-foot-tall is known as Pepper, but Khan stresses that the machine will complement humans, not replace them.

“They are more for learning and emotional support,” she told DailyMail.com by phone. “They try to improve their mood by telling jokes and stories.”

The robots will also do something called memory therapy; in its traditional form, people and objects from a person’s past were regularly brought together in a nursing home to help them regain some of their memories.

“In robotics, we can make the robot show images, videos and play music from that time and remind them of this particular event,” Khan, who has 25 robots in her lab, explained.

Computer science professor Arshia Khan, pictured above with two robots from her lab, stressed that robots will not replace humans, but will instead perform more repetitive tasks in nursing homes.

Computer science professor Arshia Khan, pictured above with two robots from her lab, stressed that robots will not replace humans, but will instead perform more repetitive tasks in nursing homes.

“The robot can dance, sing, play music and interact.

“For fun, the robot can host a bingo session.”

“This is an important step and a start in improving the quality of life of the elderly and people with dementia with the help of humanoid robots,” she adds.

Khan's own interest in robotics stems from a personal experience of watching her mother struggle to care for her father, who suffered from congestive heart failure.

Khan’s own interest in robotics stems from a personal experience of watching her mother struggle to care for her father, who suffered from congestive heart failure.

Khan’s interest in robots as healthcare workers comes from personal experience.

Her father had congestive heart failure and was dying, and Khan watched her little mother struggle to get him out of bed and take care of him.

At that time, she wanted to create an artificial heart for him.

Khan began to think about other ways to support people in these circumstances.

A growing older population and a growing number of people with dementia means that the demand for workers in nursing homes will increase.  Pictured above is Han and one of her robots.

A growing older population and a growing number of people with dementia means that the demand for workers in nursing homes will increase. Pictured above is Han and one of her robots.

She began working with a cardiothoracic surgeon on a robot that would help people get out of bed.

“If we don’t look for alternative solutions and think outside the box, our old people will suffer.”  Khan pictured above is a professor of computer science at the University of Minnesota.

“If we don’t look for alternative solutions and think outside the box, our old people will suffer.” Khan pictured above is a professor of computer science at the University of Minnesota.

Khan notes that there is a need for help for the elderly and a growing number of people with dementia.

The World Health Organization estimates that there are more than 1 billion people over the age of 60 in the world, and by 2030 this number will grow to 1.4 billion, that is, one in six people who will potentially need millions of nurses and domestic helpers.

As with other areas that are being destroyed by machines, nursing home robots will perform some of the most repetitive tasks to free people up for other work.

Hahn said nursing homes in other states, including Colorado and Pennsylvania, have contacted the robots.

“Humanoid robots helping the elderly are a way to move forward in caring for our elderly,” Khan says.

“The growth of the elderly population and the simultaneous growth of people suffering from dementia, the lack of staff and the lack of people who can help our seniors is a problem that is growing exponentially.

“If we don’t look for alternative solutions and think outside the box, our old people will suffer.”

The facility is the first of eight nursing homes in Minnesota to begin using humanoid robots, and other nursing homes will receive their robots in the coming weeks.

The robot’s deployment was made possible in part by a $2 million grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

WANT A ROBOT TO DO YOUR JOB? Physical work is most at risk

Physical jobs in predictable environments, including machine operators and fast food workers, are likely to be replaced by robots.

New York-based management consulting firm McKinsey has focused on the number of jobs that will be lost due to automation and which jobs are most at risk.

The report says that data collection and processing are two other categories of activities that can increasingly be done better and faster with machines.

This can displace a large workforce, such as in mortgages, paralegal work, accounting, and back office transaction processing.

Conversely, working in unpredictable conditions carries the least risk.

The report added: “Occupations such as gardeners, plumbers or child and elderly care providers will also be less automated by 2030 overall because they are technically difficult to automate and often require relatively lower wages, which makes automation is a less attractive business. sentence.