Robot dogs help elderly people cope with quarantine

Can a robot effectively contribute to the care of people during the pandemic? After several months of health emergency, some people who a...

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Can a robot effectively contribute to the care of people during the pandemic?

After several months of health emergency, some people who are currently vulnerable to the coronavirus also face a silent enemy: loneliness.

Can a robot improve the mental health of human beings? Here we tell you!

  • Can a robot contribute to the mental health of individuals during the pandemic? More and more experts claim that this is possible
  • Whether to lift an individual’s spirits or to keep them safe from the dangers of the pandemic, robots are positioned as a viable option within reach of people
  • Currently there are robots that allow people to take care of a possible contagion and accompany them in their moments of loneliness during quarantine

One of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic has undoubtedly been the elderly population in all parts of the world.

Currently, the possibility that a robot can make possible the task of accompanying people and providing them comfort, as well as serving as a guide during the health crisis.

Recently, The New York Times newspaper published an article in which the theme of the loneliness of confinement among older adults who are in retirement homes was addressed.

Most of these have been affected by the ravages of the pandemic, since for some of their relatives it has been impossible to make consecutive visits, or sometimes they must go alone, without the company of other family members that the older adult recognizes. .

One of the cases mentioned serves as a starting point to open the debate about whether a robot is capable of providing comfort to people and contributing to the improvement of their mental health.

In most retirement homes pets are not allowed, which has led family members to seek alternatives to this type of accompaniment among family members who want a pet.

It is in this scenario that a robot dog can be useful for a certain sector of the population, as they not only meet the physical characteristics of a ‘real’ pet, but are designed to provide an experience as close to reality as possible.

Photo: Shutterstock

A robot dog that will help older adults stay in good spirits during the pandemic

This type of robot has the necessary mechanisms to provide an experience similar to that of a real dog.

The robot has sensors that allow the “animal” to perform actions such as panting, barking, tail wagging, napping, and waking up.

To further enhance the experience, the user may feel that the robot’s heart beats, which provides a simulation closer to reality.

Before the pandemic, the robot ‘dog’ already existed; however, today it has become more relevant.

Such has been its success, that its purchase has not been done only through individuals, but government agencies have come to allocate a part of the federal budget to access these robots.

With the arrival of the pandemic, many older adults have found it necessary to seek comfort and dispense with human contact, at least from their closest relatives.

In addition, as there is a mobility restriction, the activities that they used to carry out such as visits to the park, museums or supermarkets have been suspended until further notice.

Robot seals have existed since 2009, and in 2015, robot cats made their appearance.

The robot seal is called PARO, while the robot cat was a Hasbro creation. Before, as now, retirement home residents have benefited the most from these artifacts.

Photo: Shutterstock

The PARO robot, also known as ‘personal robot’ has a price of $ 6,120, and its use is especially given in institutions such as hospitals, assisted living centers and nursing homes; in some cases, Medicare covers the cost of this robot for therapeutic use.

A robot dog, is it also useful to combat the dangers of the pandemic?

A few days ago it became known the implementation of a robot specially designed to protect people from the danger caused by the pandemic.

Its main purpose is to ‘patrol’ the streets to warn pedestrians about the importance of maintaining adequate social distance in Singapore.

Under the slogan ‘Let’s keep Singapore healthy’, the robot dog, designed by the company Boston Dynamics, will advise people to stay at least one meter away from other pedestrians.

In addition to ‘Let’s Keep Singapore Healthy’, the dog will walk the streets with an audio recording in which he informs people with the phrase “For your safety and that of those around you, please stay at least one meter away away. Thank you.”

Likewise, the robot is programmed to serve as a kind of informant about everyday movements in parks and common areas in Singapore.

It is designed to integrate a camera whose main task is to make a daily estimate of the number of people who meet in a given place.

For the safety of pedestrians, the manufacturers have ensured that this camera does not recognize faces or retrieve specific data of the people who pass through these places, so the privacy of all citizens and users will be guaranteed.

Photo: Shutterstock

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