Since the advent of robotics it’s only been a matter of time before artificial intelligence begins to incorporate itself into our world. Popular movies like ‘I Robot’ and ‘Surrogates’ give us a Hollywood version of what life might be like in the future if such robotics were taken to the next level. However, in some respects they weren’t as far-fetched as they might have seemed; for in 2013 we have already begun to integrate robots into our everyday lives.
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”1596870370″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512DSCJCG9L._SL160_.jpg” width=”100″]For example, in the United States the FDA just approved the first RP-VITA Remote Presence Robot for hospital use. What does that mean for you and me? The next time you visit your nearest hospital you may be surprised to find that instead of a regular physician, you will be virtually interfacing with your primary care doctor. Weighing in at about 200-pounds (90-kilogram) and standing about 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall these robots have flat video screens for heads, and video cameras to serve as their eyes and ears. These robots are currently operated by the standing physician or in many cases your personal doctor.
What does that mean for our future? Imagine being greeted by robotic nurses who will not only check you in, but proceed to take your blood pressure, and record your vitals. What’s more, nearly all surgical procedures may soon be performed by robotic arms, lasers, and the like, and perhaps the only human involvement may occur concerning unique cases.
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”0262701111″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HoiJPz7BL._SL160_.jpg” width=”107″]But why stop at hospitals alone? Sherry Turkle, author of In Good Company? On the Threshold of Robotic Companions and Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT, illuminates us to possibilities and ramifications of robotic companions inside one’s home. Envision a robotic nurse to help watch over grandma, or a robotic nanny to help care for your children. More of these technologies will be available for commercial use every year; hence don’t be surprised if someday soon you are shopping for your very own personal robotic companion.
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