Babyloid robot looks to curb elderly depression
December 13, 2011
Scientists continue to come up with new ideas for helping seniors remain healthy and happy as they age. In an attempt to help curb depression among the elderly, researcher Masayoshi Kanoh, a professor at Chukyo University, has created an interactive robot to help seniors stay upbeat, the Indian Express reports.
The robot dubbed Babyloid has eyes that move and blink as well as a slit for a mouth that can smile. The therapeutic creature can also express its emotions by way of LED lighting embedded in its face. Its cheeks turn red when its content, and it can also have glowing blue tears if its unhappy.
Kanoh tested his product on seniors living at a retirement home in Japan. He found that most seniors interacted with Babyloid for an average of between 7 and 8 minutes per session, for a total of 90 minutes per day. Those who used the robot were found to have lower symptoms of depression, making it a possible tool for helping seniors battling the disorder.
Even though robots are now created to help keep the elderly happy, these devices still won't be of much use if they fall or have another accident. Those who are worried about taking a tumble while aging in place may benefit from a senior alert system. These wearable devices allow a person to call for help in an instant.