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WELLINGTON – A company in New Zealand has developed a robot that reminds the aged people about their medication, monitors their vital signs, and will soon be able to entertain them too while encouraging exercise and mobility.
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 the robot with gaming facilities that will help elderly people stay active through interactive games, reported the New Zealand Herald Monday.
The robot, Eldercare, has been developed with the Intelligent Robot Division of South Korea’s Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute to reduce the strain on healthcare resources as the aging population grows and to improve the lives of people who are dependent on care.
According to David Cotter, business development manager of UniServices – a division of Auckland University that commercializes its research – 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.
“We can use technology to help keep people active and in their own homes (for longer periods). The robot can also be used to monitor spiking insulin levels and monitor readings. Telecommunication medicine is the next generation of rest homes,” Cotter said.