Robots seen as solution to care of Britain’s ageing population


As Britain faces looking after an ageing population, the government announced on Saturday that care-robots could be the answer to providing extra support.

The government launched on Saturday a 44-million-U.S. dollar investment fund for developing robots capable of providing support and care for Britons.

With one in seven people in Britain expected to be over 75 years old by 2040, so-called care robots could help provide the country’s dedicated adult social care sector with more assistance for those who need it most, said a government statement.

The new fund will be Britain’s biggest research program entirely dedicated to making autonomous systems safe and trustworthy for public use with investment that could help develop robots to fulfil tasks such as helping an elderly person up after a fall and raising the alarm, delivering food at mealtime, and even ensuring they take crucial medication at the correct time.

“Autonomous systems are currently built across industries to solve challenges, but in order to be used by people they need to be designed to be safe, keep data secure and have a clear set of rules in order for them make effective decisions,” said a government spokesperson.

The cutting-edge program will undertake research into design, for example ensuring robots are better protected against cyber-attacks and that they demonstrate principles like respect, fairness and equality, enabling them to eventually be used in places like care homes and hospitals.

The British government has already invested in a Bristol-based project which has already developed a prototype of a robot called CHIRON.

CHIRON is designed to support older adults with mobility and other ageing-related impairments. The robot could eventually assist with anything from bringing a tray of food or drink to a patient, to helping those with mobility issues to their feet from their chair.

The latest phase of the project in the Bristol Robotics is conducting research to ensure that these robots are trustworthy and safe for use. Enditem

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