Another leading Australian robotics expert has predicted that robots will be assisting with health and aged care duties within a decade.
Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte from the University of Sydney’s Centre for Social Robotics told the Brisbane Times that innovations in the mining and agricultural sectors were driving the development of robotics technology.
And he believes these benefits will flow through to hospitals and other care-related sectors within the next ten years.
Professor Durrant-Whyte says current and developing technology would enable robots to perform monitoring duties and to assist with manual tasks like lifting.
But he added that more complex tasks, like opening a door, could be difficult for robots – and bed-making remains a long way off.
Professor Durrant-Whyte’s comments come just weeks after it was revealed that a team of La Trobe University researchers was partnering with NEC and Kyoto University to develop ‘emotionally intelligent’ robots within five years.
Using a $1 million grant, they hope to enable robots to respond to appropriately to human emotions.
“Computers and robotic technology are now an integral part of life so we want to humanise them and incorporate human qualities into them,” said lead researcher, Dr Rajiv Khosla.
“We want them to be able to interact with older people in an emotionally intelligent manner.”