The Null Device

Researchers in Japan have developed a new solution for taking care of their growing elderly population: a robot teddy bear which contains health sensors and speech recognition, doubling as a health monitor and social companion:
But the robo-ted can also alert staff if conversation breaks off suddenly, indicating perhaps that its owner has collapsed. Interactions, by voice and touch, are recorded and can be analyzed remotely to detect changes in a resident's behavior.

So if you stop talking to the damned thing, perhaps realising that it's not a very interesting conversationalist, it calls the men in white coats?

There are 2 comments on "":

Posted by: Michael http:// Thu Mar 21 17:13:04 2002

Sounds to me like a useful, albeit unfortunate, replacement for families visiting their elderly family members. Does anyone nowadays actually remember seeing or being there when Gramps passed away? Too busy these days. I'm not saying everyone, but it seems that thats the way we are going. And if it comes down too it, squeezing the life out of a teddy bear might be all the chance one has to express the anger at the loss of the nuclear family. Mind you, if all I have left is a sick bed and moans, I'd want a teddy bear too. especially one that alerts the nurses that I may be dying.

Posted by: Eric http:// Thu Mar 21 19:26:12 2002

Sounds a bit like Teddy in the movie AI. It makes so much sense that man does everything he can to extend life and prevent death. Your bonus years won by modern safety and miracle cures will be spent with a teddy bear? Doesn't sound like a good deal to me.