Saturday, July 23, 2005

Doctor, can you write me an prescription for a robot?

This article (by way of Slashdot) gives a preview of the latest greatest thing for elderly assistance since the electric scooter: robots that you wear like body armor.
Yoshiyuki Sankai is among those who see robots as the future of elderly health care.

A researcher at Japan’s University of Tsukuba, Sankai has developed a robotic suit designed to make it easier for elderly people with weak muscles to move around or for care-givers to lift them.

Although very cool-looking and probably fun to operate, at $30,000-plus a pop, this would only put Medicare into bankruptcy that much faster. Which brings up the question: how long before we see infomercials advertising robots to Medicare patients?