For everyone on this planet, death is certain and there’s nothing much we can do about it. However, what we can do is make sure that humans are never alone when their dying. The best possible way to accomplish this is with robots, and one man is working to bring this idea to reality.
The man of the hour is no other than Dan Chen, and he’s all about creating a robot that will care for humans as we lay dying. The machines in question are called the End of Life Care Robots, and for now, they’re not for sale.
In fact, Mr. Chen has created several robots he deems as friends, and each has a particular role to play in this life. It might sound crazy, but from where we’re sitting, Chen’s idea is not a bad one.
You see, the world is filled with loners, and many die without having someone by their side to help them cope with the inevitable. The so-called End of Life Care Robot could address the problem of loneliness, but it’s all down to whether or not us humans are interested.
What if robots were used to keep dying humans company? pic.twitter.com/eUUCn7olci
— Mashable (@mashable) February 25, 2018
A Japanese Expert Had a Similar Idea
Hiroshi Ishiguro, a robot designer at Osaka University, is very much in support of the idea where robots could become companions to the elderly in the distant future. Should this day come to pass, he believes these machines would be viewed as human companions.
The first of such robots is called Pepper, and they’ve gone on sale in Japan since 2014. Not only are these robots great for home use, but several companies have adopted Pepper for use in their business.
The creator, SoftBank, seems very proud of its droid, and as such, the robot is being regularly updated with new abilities to make sure it stays ahead of the game.
“To date, more than 140 SoftBank Mobile stores in Japan are using Pepper as a new way of welcoming, informing and amusing their customers. Pepper also recently became the first humanoid robot to be adopted in Japanese homes!”
“Pleasant and likeable, Pepper is much more than a robot, he is a genuine humanoid companion created to communicate with you in the most natural and intuitive way, through his body movements and his voice,” says SoftBank.
The company went on to add that “Pepper loves to interact with you, Pepper wants to learn more about your tastes, your habits and quite simply who you are.”
As it stands, then, it’s clear there’s a market for robots that are capable of being a companion for the elderly through life and up to the point of death. It will take several years before the technology becomes fruitful, but at least we can say it’s already here.