September 30, 2022

Humanoid robots have been deployed in a Minnesota nursing residence to take care of sufferers with early-stage Alzheimer’s.

These robots, developed by a staff of researchers on the College of Minnesota, are outfitted to help people with their emotional, bodily and cognitive well being – are believed to be the primary within the US to concentrate on caring for sufferers with dementia. 

‘I’m extraordinarily excited to be making historical past with my college students by deploying humanoid robots in nursing houses to assist take care of our aged,’ mentioned Arshia Khan, a professor of laptop science on the College of Minnesota at Duluth’s Swenson School of Science and Engineering. 


The humanoid robots are supposed to present a variety of help and assist sufferers who’re experiencing early stage Alzheimer’s. Pictured above is likely one of the robots

One robotic is a two-foot-tall mannequin known as NAO, and the bigger one stands 4 toes and is called Pepper – however Khan emphasizes that the machine’s will complement human staff fairly than substitute them.  

‘They’re extra for cognition and emotional help,’ she instructed by telephone. ‘They’re engaged on attempting to enhance their temper, telling jokes and tales.’ 

The robots will even be doing one thing known as memory remedy; in its conventional type, folks and objects from an individual’s previous could be introduced collectively regularly within the nursing residence to assist them regain some reminiscences. 

‘In robotics, we’re in a position to have the robotic present footage movies and play music from that point and remind them of that specific even,’ Khan, who has a complete of 25 robots in her lab, defined.

‘The robotic can dance can sing can play music and work together. 

‘For enjoyable, the robotic can lead a bingo session.’ 

‘It is a main step and the start in serving to enhance the standard of lifetime of aged and folks affected with dementia utilizing humanoid robots,’ she provides.

Khan's own interest in robotics goes back to a personal experience when she watched her mother struggle to take care of her father, who was suffering from congestive heart failure

Khan’s personal curiosity in robotics goes again to a private expertise when she watched her mom battle to maintain her father, who was affected by congestive coronary heart failure

Khan’s curiosity in robots as well being caretakers stems from a private expertise.   

Her father had congestive coronary heart failure and was dying – and Khan watched her mom battle to assist him off the bed and take care of him.

On the time, she wished she might have designed a synthetic coronary heart for him. 

Khan started to consider how she might present help in different methods for folks in these circumstances.  

A growing elderly population and a growing number of people suffering from dementia means that there will be more demand for workers in nursing homes. Pictured above is Khan and one of her robots

A rising aged inhabitants and a rising variety of folks affected by dementia signifies that there can be extra demand for staff in nursing houses. Pictured above is Khan and considered one of her robots

She started working with a cardiothoracic surgeon on a robotic that may assist folks get off the bed. 

Khan is a computer science professor at the University of Minnesota in Duluth

Khan is a pc science professor on the College of Minnesota in Duluth 

As Khan notes, there’s a want for aged help and there’s a rising inhabitants of individuals affected by dementia. 

In response to World Well being Group estimates, there are greater than 1 billion folks over the age of 60, and that may rise to 1.4 billion by 2030 — which is one in six folks, probably requiring hundreds of thousands of nurses. 

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As with different fields being disrupted by machines, the robots in nursing houses will deal with a number of the extra repetitive duties to liberate people for different work. 

Khan mentioned nursing houses in different states, together with Colorado and Pennsylvania, have reached out in regards to the robots.   

‘Humanoid robots in serving to aged is the best way to maneuver forward in caring for our aged,’ says Khan. 

‘The expansion in aged inhabitants and simultaneous progress within the folks affected with dementia, employees shortages and lack of people that can for our aged is an issue that’s rising exponentially. 

‘If we don’t search for different options and assume outdoors the field our elders will undergo.’ 

This facility is the primary of eight nursing houses throughout Minnesota to start out using humanoid robots and the opposite nursing houses will get their robots within the coming weeks. 

The robotic deployment was made potential partly due to a $2 million grant from the Minnesota Division of Human Companies.


Bodily jobs in predictable environments, together with machine-operators and fast-food staff, are the most definitely to get replaced by robots.

Administration consultancy agency McKinsey, based mostly in New York, centered on the quantity of jobs that may be misplaced to automation, and what professions had been most in danger.

The report mentioned accumulating and processing knowledge are two different classes of actions that more and more may be achieved higher and quicker with machines. 

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This might displace giant quantities of labour – as an illustration, in mortgages, paralegal work, accounting, and back-office transaction processing.

Conversely, jobs in unpredictable environments are least are danger.

The report added: ‘Occupations corresponding to gardeners, plumbers, or suppliers of child- and eldercare – will even typically see much less automation by 2030, as a result of they’re technically tough to automate and infrequently command comparatively decrease wages, which makes automation a much less engaging enterprise proposition.’