Equip your robot with a Harris Tweed jacket

Robots are to be placed into the homes of people with dementia as part of a pilot on the Western Isles, but it is just one of many uses machines are being put to in Scotland amid a wider debate on robotics.

NHS Western Isles is the first health board in Scotland to try out Giraff.

The 1.5m (4ft 11in) tall, wheeled robots have a TV screen instead of a head.

A relative or carer can call up the Giraff with a computer from any location. Their face will appear on the screen allowing them to chat to the other person.

The operator can also drive the robot around the house to check that medication is being taken and that food is being eaten.

There is more here.

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but will the robots use Kevin Spacey's soothing voice?

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How much does that ghastly looking contraption cost? Has that company never heard of Industrial Design? They ought to poach some designers from Apple or Belkin.

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Can this thing be remotely controlled on the street?

Can it be equipped with an machine gun for more fun times?

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It's my dream to use one of these for teaching. Me in Santa Fe, my robot teaching my class in Norman.

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This wouldn't work for Alheimer's disease. The robot would constantly be a novel presence in the environment, possibly frightening. Maybe it would work if the robot was introduced 15 or 20 years before the disease appears, so the patient can form long-term memories about it before losing that ability.

This is what was going through my mind. In some cases the patient might be okay with the robotic presence for weeks at a time. On other days, the robot might have to spend hours at a time explaining to the patient why in fact it could be trusted.

Well, it IS a robot, so it could just play the same program each day without getting bored.

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I, for one, welcome our new robot home health care workers.

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How much does automation have to boost productivity before everyone can just go on the dole and leave a robot to watch their elderly parents?

Never. The benefits of automation accrue to the people who own the automation. The non-owners will have to make monthly payments to the owners, and for that you'll need a job. There are no advancements in technology that will change the fact you are forever screwed.

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