While most robots these days are replacing human jobs, few are doing some more sensitive work like looking after elderly and disabled people and those people who are suffering from conditions like dementia. These robots also do things like keeping a constant check on someone’s safety while also allowing them to have their privacy. The robot is named Stevie, and it is designed to look somewhat like a human. It has arms and head and moves with the help of wheels. The robot has features like speaking to people, responding to them, and doing the things they are asked to do.
Stevie can perform some of its jobs automatically like reminding the user to take their medications. Other tasks are designed to involve human interaction like detecting if a user has fallen over. A user can take control of the robot and can use it to investigate the event and contact the emergency services if required. Stevie can also help the users to stay social like the screens in the head of the robot can be used during a Skype call. The robot can also help to regulate the room temperatures and light levels. These tasks can keep the user comfortable and also avoid the risks of falling.
Stevie, the helping robot, is not capable of washing or dressing people. The developers of Stevie wanted to create a robot which can help and complement human care. They tried to combine human empathy, compassion, and decision making with the efficiency, reliability and continuous operation of robotics. The team aims to develop more efficient robots which can help with more physical tasks like assisting a user in getting out of bed. However, these tasks have a higher risk concerning the user.
So far, Stevie can provide great benefits to carers as well as elderly or disabled users. The job of a professional care assistant is very demanding and involves long, unsocial hours in workplaces which are frequently understaffed. This is the reason the industry suffers shallow job satisfaction. More than 35% of care assistants tend to leave their jobs each year in the US. This technology is still minimal for many people. For example, people with hearing problems cannot conventionally use smart hub such as Amazon Echo, however, Stevie can overcome these problems and communicate in multiple ways. It can talk, make gestures, show facial expressions, and display text on its screen. It is expected that this version of the Stevie robot will be made available for purchase within two years.