Have you heard of social robots? They're an autonomous robot designed to interact with humans AND other robots in a way that's socially acceptable (so no awkward robots here!). They convey their intentions in a way that's understandable to us humans, and they're even empowered to work together with their fellow teammates , whether human or robot.
To make these interactions work smoothly, social robots need to have a few key qualities. For one thing, they need to be able to move and operate in the real world (so they're not just stuck in a lab or put in a closet somewhere). They also need to be able to react quickly to unexpected situations that might come up. And of course, they need to be really good at figuring out how to achieve their goals in social situations whether they're working with humans or other robots.
Overall, it's pretty cool to think about how researchers in the technology sector are advancing to the point where robots can engage, interact, communicate and collaborate with us and each other. Who knows what amazing things we'll be able to achieve together!
Research, Robots and Computer Science
Hey, did you know that robots are becoming more and more helpful? They've been assisting humans with difficult tasks, like exploring space and the deep oceans, for years. But now, a new generation of robots is being designed to support us right here at home!
Imagine this: in the near future, robots could help care for elderly folks who live alone. They could remind them to take their medicine, read them books, and even provide emotional support. Humans are social beings by nature. Social robots provide a way to decrease loneliness in older adults and even children.
And with the world's aging population growing rapidly, healthcare services are feeling the strain. That's where these robots come in handy. They could help elderly folks live independently for longer, and provide much-needed assistance to overworked caregivers.
So, get ready for the robot revolution - it's going to make life a little bit easier for everyone!
Seniors Want To Age In Place
In today's society, most older adults aim to age in place, in their own environments and familiar surroundings . With support of their family members, many are able to delay or avoid an admission to a nursing home. But cognitive, physical, emotional, social, and/or relational changes may prevent them from doing so. Researchers are exploring assistive technologies that support cognitive function and memory and the physical functions such as mobility issues and balance.
Robots Support Aging in Place
Did you know that robots can help older adults age in place? They can assist with everything from hobbies and social communication to learning new skills. Social robots even provide social functions, allowing for interaction between humans and machines.
Companion robots like Paro, is the first robot, a social robot designed for providing companionship. Nursing homes are using this sweet social robot to improve psychological status and overall well-being while reducing stress and feelings of loneliness in older adults. Robotic pets provide emotional companionship for older adults and has been such a blessing to those pet lovers with dementia. These cute social robots encourage seniors to engage with the pet. This is a robot capable of evoking warm emotions and a sense of comfort to many seniors.
What is a Telepresence Robot?
Telepresence robots are a type of social robot that allows the user to be virtually present in a space. They use cameras, sensors, and software to enable remote control over their movements. Telepresence robots can help healthcare professionals provide better patient care by allowing them to be present with patients remotely. The technology also helps bridge the physical distance between healthcare professionals and patients, thus enabling communication and collaboration, even when they are not in the same room. Telepresence robots have been used in healthcare settings to monitor patient vitals, provide consultation with medical specialists located far away, and assist nurses with their daily tasks. There are surgeons that use these types of autonomous systems to perform surgeries in other parts of the world. Yes, the surgeon may be in Boston, MA performing surgery on someone in another country. This allows specialists to use technology of robotics to provide services to those in need in other countries.
Use cases for social robots
Another use of telepresence robots keeps older adults connected to loved ones and resources, promoting independent living. The best part? Using robots for enriching activities can boost mood, decrease loneliness, decrease stress, and increase social interactions. By incorporating robots into their homes, older adults can stay engaged in hobbies and activities they love, promoting healthy aging. This technology helps long distance caregivers monitor their loved ones activity levels and have regular social interaction with family members. Seniors are playing games with their grandkids. It helps reduce stress as a long distance family caregiver can see their aging loved ones facial expressions, monitor their daily living activities and observe their aging loved ones behavior through regular and ongoing communications
Social robotics can assist healthcare professionals by monitoring patient vitals remotely or providing medical assistance in remote locations, as I mentioned earlier. Overall, social robots are a promising technology that can revolutionize the way healthcare is provided. They offer many benefits such as improved patient care, increased collaboration between healthcare professionals, and increased efficiency in providing care.
Overall, social robots provide a new perspective on healthcare and can revolutionize the way health services are delivered. With their advanced technologies such as voice recognition, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning algorithms and computing machinery, social robots can interact with people in a more natural and human-like way. Natural language processing and speech recognition capabilities can also enable more human-like interactions with patients.
This is important as we have so many seniors that have become hard of hearing, or have a difficult time understanding a different accent than they are used to hearing. The future of social robots will allow a family to use personal settings and address the various aspects of a persons life. As I said before, i would like to have a person centered profile on each family member. Human robot interaction will increase as these social machines become more person specific. Human expectations demand an individualized approach, and a type of human interaction experience.
Robotic systems are being developed to aid older adults in routine activities such as cleaning, picking up and/or retrieving objects, getting into and out of bed, meals, and mobility In contrast, relatively little attention in robotics or artificial intelligence (AI) has been given to the social, emotional, and relational aspects of older adults’ lives. We envision intelligent social technologies for the home that not only help older adults with daily activity difficulties and health problems but also contribute to emotional wellness via social engagement.
As baby boomers age, the projected shortage of trained personnel and facilities, such as nursing homes, are going to be challenged to meet the growing demand over the next few decades is critical. Introducing social robots that use social cues and interact with users in “interpersonal” ways as a means to reduce older adults’ social isolation by fostering face-to-face connectedness with family, friends, staff, doctors, and other professionals.
Social Robot Examples
Meet BUDDY and Astro, two innovative robots designed to enhance independent living and aid in post-operative recovery. BUDDY is a cute, medium-sized dog-like robot that can assist with daily tasks such as scheduling appointments, offering cognitive stimulation, and the video data allows patrolling the home for security. Astro is a tall, social humanoid robot that can be used as a walking aid and guide users through prescribed exercises.
In developing these robots, researchers in ACCRA worked directly with elderly individuals and their caregivers to ensure that their needs and expectations were met. Participants noted that the emotional and cognitive interactions with BUDDY were crucial in promoting wellbeing, and the robot's developers plan to continue improving these aspects with further support and feedback from family caregivers and their loved ones.
While developing robots that can interact with humans on a level comparable to other humans may be too costly and time-consuming, BUDDY and Astro offer significant benefits for those seeking more independent living and improved mobility. By co-creating robots with users and managing human expectations, researchers hope to continue advancing the capabilities of these technologies.
Meet Pepper and Cozmo
Let me introduce you to Pepper and Cozmo, social robots .According to Emily Cross, a professor of social robotics at the University of Glasgow, these robots do not necessarily need to look and act human-like to be appealing to humans. In fact, her Social Robots project discovered that a toy robot called Cozmo can have much more of an impact on social cognition in children and adults than the more expensive and human-like Pepper.
The project also found that how someone is introduced to the robot has just as much impact as its appearance and abilities. This understanding of human robot interaction is vital, especially for countries with aging populations who need affordable and effective social robots on the market. The good news is that in the next decade, will bring a new generation of robots that will extend older people's ability to live independently .
Meet Furhat by Furhat Robotics
Furhat Robotics is on a mission to create a robot that people could interact with as easily as they would with another human. Meet Furhat, the first robot on the market with a back-projected face! What does that mean? Back-projected face robots are a type of social robot that use projected images on a screen to create a realistic human digital avatar. The computer vision of these robots use sophisticated computer algorithms to accurately mimic facial expressions, gestures, and body language in order to facilitate more natural interactions with their human counterparts.
What makes this so special? Well, the projector allows you to change the robot's skin color, makeup, and even facial features at the click of a button. And because of the way it's designed, Furhat's movements are incredibly smooth and natural-looking, so you won't get that creepy almost human like effect.
But that's not all. Furhat is a social robot designed to participate in conversations just like a human would, with nods and other natural gestures. It is able to interact in a variety of different social situations with an easy type of human interactive communication system. Human beings introduced to Furhat
Plus, Furhat is equipped it with the latest speech recognition and automatic lip sync technology,and artificial intelligence it can converse in over 40 languages! With Furhat, the opportunities to create humanlike robots with expressive characters are limitless., social robots are the way of the future. The Furhat Robotics company is focusing on becoming the leading social robotics company in the world.
Meet Misty, the new programmable mobile social robot from Misty Robotics. Recently acquired by Furhat, Misty has already made waves performing temperature screenings in workplaces and healthcare settings. But that's just the beginning - researchers are now touting Misty as a valuable tool for communicating with people who have autism and Alzheimer's.
What's really cool about humanoid robots like Misty is how expressive she is. Using her eyes and sounds, she can express a wide range of facial expressions and emotions, from joy to sadness. And her head, neck, and arms all move, so she can communicate curiosity or excitement. Misty has touch sensors and responds to touch and can recognize and remember people. Plus, she's powered by top-of-the-line artificial intelligence, capable of detecting 80 different objects. Interacting with Misty, a person can make eye contact and Misty will respond with the appropriate emotions. Misty is on very social robot!
Let's talk about human robot interaction. Human-robot interaction is a give-and-take, and both parties, humans and robots, need to learn from each other. Scientists studying this field typically focus on how robots can understand human intentions, but it's essential for humans to understand robot behavior as well.
Researchers from MIT and Harvard University have collaborated to apply established theories of human concept learning to advance human-robot interaction. They examined prior studies on human beings teaching robots new behaviors and found that two cognitive science theories could have improved the methodologies used.
By incorporating elements and the variation theory of learning, humans can form mental models of robots quicker and more accurately. Better understanding of a robot's behavior can lead to greater cooperation and safer collaboration in high-stakes industries such as healthcare and manufacturing.
Researchers have learned that human expectations of robots is based on various experiences. For instance, it is essential to show humans both positive and negative examples of a robot performing a task to build an accurate mental model of the robot. Furthermore, if a robot's design resembles a human but moves differently, it can confuse people and make it challenging to learn to interact with the robot.
In conclusion, scientists must use everything at their disposal to help humans build the most accurate mental models of robots possible, as inaccurate models could put people in harm's way. Regular everyday humans can assist researchers to design more effective robot experiments and improve the physical robot design.
Have you ever wondered how we can make robots more accessible to regular people? By utilizing imitation learning, artificial intelligence, and computer modeling, we can improve the relationship between humans and robots. This will enable robots to adapt to new users and tasks, making them more efficient and effective in helping us solve everyday problems.
To achieve this goal, there are three areas of research we need to consider: cognitive, emotion and perception, and hardware. By focusing on how humans process information, how we share and interpret information and learn to trust, and by building better hardware, we can ensure that humans and robots can work together seamlessly.
Think about how the personal computer revolutionized the way we work and play. Now, society stands at the brink of another revolution - one where robots will change the way we live and think. Whether it is a factory supervisor switching products or a stroke victim inspecting their garden using drones, we can harness the power of robotics to help make our lives easier and more productive.