7 Billiion | Empty Nests 05.tif

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All of these robotics folks developing robots for elderly talk about studies showing that more and more elderly are isolated and have no one to relate to... In 2009 it was 19 percent of the elderly population of Japan.  They have a word for it:  "Kodokushi" or "lonely death.".The robotics folks at Keihanna Science City.http://www.kri-p.jp/english/history.html.http://web-japan.org/atlas/technology/tec07.html.cite these studies and are developing robots to help with shopping and other chores.  But mostly they are developing a companion to combat kodokushi.  The elderly Japanese person fills out a shopping list on their iPhone at their home and it is sent to the robot at the grocery store... when they walk into the store the robot recognizes them from the geolocation info in their iPhone and accompanies them on their shopping tasks, carrying the basket, reminding them of the items on their list and giving them information about the best freshest products that have come into the store on that day.  The eyes of the robot follow wherever the iPhone is to give the elderly the impression they have a friend.  The elderly woman shopping in this example is Nabeshima Akiko.  This grocery store is a functioning grocery store in the science city and is set up for demos of what this technology CAN do... but it is not functional yet.  They hope it will be in five years.
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