More Robots, Technology and Aging!

One of the countless booths that I missed last week at CES was Fujitsu, which was providing demos for their entry into what looks to be a growing category of “robots” geared at providing companionship to elders.  This “teddy bear” is following the success of Paro the seal which was also at CES and which has been around for a while.

These cuddly robots have generated a mixed reaction in many circles.  I have seen how people react to these at Vinson Hall a retirement community that piloted their use in the United States.  I think people get nervous that these might replace human-interaction, however I view these the same way as I view having a pet.  These robots like pets can encourage human interaction, conversation and good feelings.  They don’t have a real heartbeat, but they also don’t need to be walked or cleaned up after!

I really liked the following comment on last week’s post related to technology

 I have some wonderful new products to share that you may want to let others in “ senior status” know are very useful. I am writing this using Dragon 11 voice activated software. This was recommended to me by our computer professional when I was considering converting our laptop back to a desktop tower. I thought the traditional keyboard would be better for my tendinitis/carpal tunnel problems. He suggested trying this software since I could do everything on the computer without using my hands or wrists at all. It is a fabulous innovation and not a costly one. Obviously, it takes some getting used to but the learning process is moving pretty quickly.

My other technology news to share is the difference that good power steering has made in my comfort driving the car. We purchased the Ford Fiesta last week and are amazed at the difference in the level of power assist that it provides compared to the German and Japanese compact cars. Anyone with tendinitis or arthritis in their hands should consider this major difference in technology. It’s really terrific.

As I look at it both of these suggestions have nothing to do with age or ability in both cases it’s making something easier and providing us with additional choices.  I am looking into the voice recognition software for myself!

1 Comment

  • Old and proud

    Talk about aging and technology! My dad can’t operate the remote. He has a hard time charging his cell phone. I think people need to be patient with their elders and hope that something as simple as a life alert system will be easy for them to use. That’s the hope for him, anyways!

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