Retirement living could get easier thanks to three engineers and a nursing specialist in Chicago.
Three engineers at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and a nursing specialist at Rush University are developing a caregiving robot that could improve life for older persons living at home, according to the Chicago Tribune.
"The elderly population is getting larger and larger.
How do we provide care for them? How can they stay living in their homes, which impacts the quality of their life and their relatives' lives?" asked Milos Zefran while speaking with the paper. Zefran is a professor at UIC and one of the engineers working on the robot.
Jezekiel Ben-Arie and Barbara Di Eugenio are the other two UIC professors working on the project. Marquis Foreman is from the Rush University Medical Center and is also contributing.
The team says that before anything can be built, a means of communicating with the robot needs to be developed. Creating technology that can identify human words is difficult, they say. Regarding the unit's appearance, it could take any form, according to Foreman.
The CIA estimates there are about 17 million elderly men and 22.5 million elderly women living in the U.S. today. The life expectancy for males is approximately 76 years for men and 81 years for women. The team in Chicago says that if the robot cost $20,000 to $30,000 and provided service for five to 10 years, it would be a worthwhile investment.