Caring robot to keep Kiwi elderly entertained

Monday, February 7, 2011

CHRISTCHURCH - Christchurch-based gaming company Stickmen Studios has developed a game - Kung Fu Funk - that can help rehabilitate people who have suffered brain injuries.

Stickmen Studios and the University of Auckland have teamed up to customize a robot with gaming facilities that will help elderly people stay active through interactive games.

The robot, Eldercare, has been developed with the Intelligent Robot Division of South Korea’s Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute.

The aim of the robot is to reduce the strain on healthcare resources as the aging population grows and improve the lives of people who are dependent on care.

David Cotter, business development manager of UniServices - a division of Auckland University that commercializes its research, said the robot could monitor a person’s blood pressure, or insulin levels and then transmit the data to a centre using wireless connections where a nurse or doctor can access it.

The robot can also fetch and carry and monitor when a person has fallen over through a bracelet that communicates with it. It then decides whether emergency services are needed.

Cotter said the robot, which is still in a development phase, would help balance out the volume of elderly people to caregivers.

The university is also working on a robot that will assist autistic children. (ANI)

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