Cats could provide a variety of different services to older people
Robot cats and other man-made companions could help Britain's elderly, according to a report by the Royal Academy of Engineering. The report recommends that autonomous devices could provide a variety of different services to older people, ranging from basic companionship to medical monitoring. Devices with the appropriate sensors could act as fire detectors, or flash lights when doorbells or phones ring.
"This is not constrained by the technological possibility of it so much as by the desire to do it -- and that is bound up with all sorts of social factors," said Professor Will Stewart of Southampton University, who contributed to the report, speaking to Reuters.
"It is not a complete replacement for your kid calling you once a week. What you want is continuous attention and that is very difficult," said Stewart.
Maybe older Brits could start with the Dream Cat Venus, an autonomous robotic feline that is already available for about $110 in Japan.