Caregiver for the old
As our population ages, these caregiver robots will also be useful for the old as well as the young.
The numbers show why this is an attractive proposition. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 4 million babies are born annually in the United States. That’s almost 11,000 daily births.
What’s more, 62% percent of women who gave birth within the last year work outside of the home, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Not surprisingly, more than 11 million U.S. children younger than age five are in some form of childcare.
The costs are staggering. In California, for example, the annual daycare cost for one child is $22,460—which amounts to 12% of the medium family income. It’s lower in southern states like Louisiana—$10,674 yearly. But that’s still a painful 7% of household income for parents in that region.
A companion for the young
What exactly is Misa Robot? It belongs in special robotics niche called “companion” robots–machines that are designed to interact with, help, and even care for humans.
They tend to be crossbred of entertainment and communication devices and mobile surveillance centers.
Misa is the perfect “after school” companion for children from three to thirteen years old waiting for their parents to get home from work. It’s got a humanoid shape, and will reportedly dance, tell stories, and play games, as well as help parents, keep an eye on what their kids are up to from afar. Children can chat live with their real-life friends, swap videos, and surf through social media. A weather app lets them know how to dress, a clock app wakes them up in the morning, and a health app tells them to wash hands before meals.
Misa is great at speech recognition and can figure out the semantic structure and respond intelligently. They’ve also got the ability to recognize objects and the world around them.
In this context, even with a $700 tag, a robot capable of caring for your children may suddenly look very attractive.