Thursday, March 2, 2017

A dispatch from the frontlines of social and service robots

The time has come to recognize that the use of social and service robots:

·         Reduces pain and stress in children facing medical procedures
·         Lessens the impact of autism
·         Brings affordable health care to rural communities
·         Reduces hospital re-admissions
·         Reduces the debilitating impact of loneliness and isolation on seniors
·         Helps student learn more and faster
·         Increases retail store sales

No need to ponder further whether social and service robots will find a role in the business models of hospitals, retail stores, retirement communities, skilled nursing facilities, schools, libraries and in the homes of those seeking to age-at-home. The reality is that they are already advancing these business models, being driven by ever more sophisticated hardware constructs and by the software that defines and manages a robot’s behavior.

Our social and service robots are at work today:

·         Serving as remote tele-medicine health examination and health care services platform

·         Enhancing autism engagement therapies and delivering lasting positive change

·         Serving as an assistant in pediatric medical procedures reducing pain and stress in children by as much as 50%

·         Leading group exercise sessions in retirement communities and skilled nursing facilities

·         Working in retail stores to enhance the customer experience and satisfaction

·         Models for teaching students about science, technology, engineering and math -STEM

·         Serving as concierge/hospitality helpers in hotels and at major conferences and trade shows

·         Enhancing the lives of seniors via tele-presence – reducing the debilitating impact of isolation and loneliness

In the earlier days of robotics, the question was: “What can they do?” The question now is: “How and when will I start to (read: need to) use this technology”.

Mike Radice is Chairman of the Technology Advisory for ChartaCloud’s ROBOTTECA