Wednesday, July 25, 2007

How will the Elderly Get Around? With a Robot!

A Canadian
Globe and Mail article details the motivations of Stanford
University roboticist, Sebastian
Thrun. His elderly father caused a car accident while driving,
resulting in the loss of his father's driver's license and a gradual
decline in his health. This got Thrun thinking about how robots could
help and eventually led to his work on autonomous robot cars. He
predicts we'll see a gradual transition from the totally manual cars of
today to cars that assist with parking, accident avoidence and,
eventually, can handle the entire task of driving if we want. The article
also talks about other robots that could help the elderly get around
such as robot wheel chairs that are smart enough to avoid obstacles and
navigate their occupant safely to the desired destination.


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